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article imageConditions deteriorating rapidly as Hurricane Zeta nears landfall

By Karen Graham     Oct 28, 2020 in Environment
Zeta has regained its hurricane status and the Gulf Coast is beginning to see conditions deteriorate quickly ahead of a predicted landfall on Wednesday afternoon.
Zeta is expected to make landfall on the southeast Louisiana coast Wednesday afternoon at, or near, Category 2 hurricane status, with max winds near 100 mph. Hurricane warnings have been issued from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi/Alabama border, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and metropolitan New Orleans, reports WDSU.com.
Heavy winds and rain are expected, as well as a storm surge of from 5 to 8 feet, with the deepest water occurring along the immediate coast near and to the right of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.
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CNN is reporting that officials in Jefferson and Terrebonne parishes have issued mandatory evacuation orders for coastal areas and places outside major levees. In New Orleans, voluntary evacuations have been called for similar areas.
"Again, we stand ready and prepared and wanting to, again, encourage our people to not have fatigue as relates to being prepared," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said.
"I don't think we're going to be as lucky with this one," added the city's emergency preparedness director, Collin Arnold, noting New Orleans this year has skirted the impact of the six named storms this year.
Hurricane Zeta is expected to gain strength, edging close to becoming a Category 2 storm at landfall. It is moving toward the north near 18 mph (30 km/h). A faster northward to north-northeastward motion is expected through tonight followed by an even faster northeastward motion on Thursday and an east-northeastward motion early Friday.
Zeta will then move close to the Mississippi coast this evening, and move across the southeastern and eastern United States on Thursday, bringing heavy rains along its track. The storm will weaken over the southeastern United States on Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph (150 kph) with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km).
More about Hurricane Zeta, us gulf coast, category 2, Dangerous storm surge, Stormweary Louisiana
 
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