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Hurricane Delta Strengthens To Category 3

Hurricane Delta is expected to make landfall Friday in southwest Louisiana.
Hurricane Delta is expected to make landfall Friday in southwest Louisiana.

Hurricane Delta is strengthening as it moves across the Gulf of Mexico. It is moving northwest with maximum sustained winds near 115 mph, making it a category 3 hurricane.

Delta is about 300 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana. The storm will bring life-threatening storm surges to portions of the gulf coast as it makes landfall tomorrow.

Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis Parishes have issued mandatory evacuation orders and have been bussing residents to the Alexandria MegaShelter.

The area between the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge and to Morgan City could see 7-11 feet of surge, and further west, in Holly Beach, which was hit hard by Hurricane Laura in August, the storm could bring 5-8 feet. A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from High Island, Texas, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

The system may dump upwards of ten inches of rain across portions of southwestern Louisiana, stretching up to Lafayette.

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasts that additional strengthening is possible tonight.

Meteorologist Ken Graham said the storm will strengthen overnight, but some weakening is possible as Delta approaches the northern Gulf coast on Friday.

“Today’s the day to really get ready for this hurricane,” said Graham. “By tomorrow morning we’re going to really start seeing those impacts.”

New Orleans will start seeing some rain tomorrow, but forecasters don’t anticipate appreciable amounts. There’s also the potential for strong gusts of wind, the formation of tornadoes, and several feet of storm surge on Lake Pontchartrain.

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