Gulf Coast Braces for Tropical Storm Zeta After Slamming Mexico As Category 1 Hurricane
Zeta is expected make landfall — potentially as a hurricane — Wednesday evening.
The Gulf Coast is readying itself for another tropical storm after it made landfall as a hurricane in Mexico.
According to CNN, Hurricane Zeta has already slammed the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico as a Category 1 hurricane on Monday night. The storm’s path is now moving northwest, headed to parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast between Louisiana and Florida. The storm has recently been downgraded to a tropical storm, but may strengthen to a hurricane again by the time it hits the U.S. coast on Wednesday, according to CNN.
Hurricane warnings are being issued for Morgan City, Louisiana, as well as along the Mississippi/Alabama border, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and New Orleans, Louisiana ahead of the storm, according to a release by the National Hurricane Center. Tropical storm and storm surge warnings are being issued to the areas from the Mississippi/Alabama border to Okaloosa/Walton County Line in Florida, as well as areas between Cozumel, Punta Allen, and Progreso, Mexico. A tropical storm watch is being issued between Morgan City to Intracoastal City, Louisiana.
Residents in this area should expect force winds, heavy rain, possible storm surge (between Intracoastal City, Louisiana to Navarre, Florida) and flooding that could rise between four to six feet, according to CNN. Evacuations outside of the New Orleans levee system are currently voluntary, and residents are being advised to store food, water, and medications for at least three days. Sand bags are also being supplied to residents in New Orleans.
“We must roll up our sleeves, like we always do, and prepare for a potential impact to Louisiana,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, according to CNN. National Guardsmen are also at the ready to assist with rescue efforts, if needed.
Those who are in at-risk areas should keep track of the storm on the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch Warning Graphic on the National Hurricane Center website.
In response to the storm, Delta is issuing travel waivers for select Louisiana cities, though no flights have been canceled at the time of writing. If you have plans to travel to the affected region in the next few days, check with your airline for the most current information.
Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.