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Louisiana coast under hurricane warning as Delta crosses the Gulf of Mexico

Delta makes landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, still expected to hit Gulf Coast later this week
Posted at 4:30 AM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 23:55:47-04

Hurricane warnings are up for some of the Louisiana gulf coast as Hurricane Delta is expected to cross the Gulf of Mexico and strike the state later this week.

Hurricane Delta made landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday morning and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects the storm to continue moving northward and bring "life-threatening" storm surge to the Gulf Coast late this week.

According to the NHC, Delta made landfall near Puerto Morelos, Mexico with 110 mph winds, making it a strong Category 2 storm. The Yucatan Peninsula is home to many Mexican resort towns, including Cancún and Playa del Carmen. Belize, a coastal country on the southern part of the peninsula, may also feel effects from Delta.

Hurricane Delta weakened to Category 1 status after it emerged off the Yucatan Peninsula into the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday afternoon. As of the 10 p.m. CT Wednesday advisory by the NHC, Delta had top winds of 90 mph.

The storm is expected to regain major hurricane status on Thursday, but make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on Friday somewhere along the Gulf Coast. A hurricane warning was issued late Wednesday for areas from the Texas/Louisiana border to Morgan City, Louisiana.

While the center of Hurricane Delta is not expected to be as intense as when the storm had peak winds of 145 mph on Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center expects the storm to grow in size, spreading the impacts over a wide area of the coast. The National Hurricane Center said the growing hurricane will likely increase the storm surge and wind damage threats.

Louisiana has taken the brunt of the impact of the 2020 hurricane season. Hurricanes Marco and Laura have already made landfall in the state, causing inland flooding and significant damage along the coast. Hurricane Sally also did significant damage nearby Gulf Shores, Alabama, when it made landfall in September.

Between Monday afternoon and late Tuesday morning, Delta exploded from a tropical storm into one of the most powerful hurricanes of an active 2020 season. Only 2005 (with 28) has seen more named storms than the 25 totaled so far in 2020.