Nearly 10,000 Louisiana residents in shelters ahead of Hurricane Delta
As of Friday morning, almost 10,000 Louisiana residents are in shelters ahead of Hurricane Delta’s landfall.
Governor John Bel Edwards on Friday said some residents have successfully taken refuge in shelters across the state. However, a large majority of those sheltered are victims of Hurricane Laura, which hit Louisiana’s coast only six weeks earlier. More than 800 current evacuees are from Hurricane Delta.
“They are primarily at the mega-shelter in Alexandria, which has reached its capacity, because of COVID-19 we have reduced capacity. We will be moving individuals as necessary to other shelters further north,” Edwards at a news conference.
While winds have decreased, Hurricane Delta is still creating dangerous storm surges, especially in low areas. The hurricane is expected to make landfall around 7 p.m. as a Category 2 storm. Residents are especially advised to shelter in place if not already evacuated, and to stay away from deep water, especially if it has become murky.
Hurricane Delta presses pause on Hurricane Laura repairs
For residents in Hurricane Delta’s path, the destruction a hurricane can wreak is nothing new. Just six weeks earlier, Hurricane Laura touched down in the U.S., devoting homes in southern Louisiana.
Iowa, a small town in Louisiana, is bracing for the effects of the Delta in houses that still bear the marks of Laura.
Wayne Bertrand, an Iowa resident, has watched his neighbors scatter from the storm, leaving behind patchwork houses, one still relying on generator power.
“It’s not frustrating, Bertrand told CBS affiliate KLFY. “It’s sad to me.”
While Bertrand and his family will be staying in their home for the storm, other residents have decided to leave the storm’s path.
Earl Guillory has spent the weeks since Laura rebuilding his home, which is still not complete. His wife, who came home once the house was livable, has evacuated.
“Since August the 27, she’s been here three days,” Guillory told KLFY. “Three days and now she’s gone again.”
Delta weakens to Category 2 storm
Hurricane Delta has weakened to a powerful Category 2 storm, with 110 mph winds, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm is expected to make landfall on the Louisiana coast Friday afternoon.
Forecasters said the storm is expected to weaken before landfall, and further weaken after the storm’s center moved inland. They cautioned that the storm is still dangerous and life-threatening storm surge is expected within the next few hours.
Trump says FEMA is ready to respond
President Trump on Friday said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is prepared to respond to Hurricane Delta, which is expected to make landfall on the Lousiana coast Friday afternoon.
Just got a briefing on Hurricane Delta rushing toward Louisiana and Mississippi,” Mr. Trump tweeted Friday. “(FEMA) is there and ready!!!”
Over 100 dogs rescued from hurricane’s path
Organizations are working to rescue dogs away from the path of Hurricane Delta. The non-profit group Wings of Rescue saved 103 dogs, transporting them from Louisiana to El Cajon, San Diego, CBS affiliate KFMB reported.
The dogs will arrive at several shelters across San Diego, including the San Diego Humane Society, the Rancho Coastal Humane Society and the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility.
“If we in San Diego are not taking action, a lot of these pets don’t have any future,” John Van Zante of the Rancho Coastal Humane Society told the station. “The shelters are always crowded. Now we are in (an) emergency situation where you have hundreds and thousands (of) more pets coming in. They just don’t have room for them.”
Louisiana will stay in Phase 3 to prevent coronavirus spread after hurricane
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has extended the state’s Phase 3 COVID-19 protections until November 3.
Louisiana was moved to Phase 3 in September following two separate spikes in cases. Phase 4 was scheduled to begin in the state on October 9, however, Edwards wants to keep Lousiana’s current low case count the standard, especially as communities continue to recover from the hurricanes. The continuation of Phase 3 means Louisiana’s statewide mask mandate will stay in place for at least 28 more days. The only changes to the reopening plans concern alcohol sales, which are now allowed at sporting events in qualifying parishes and open bars.
“We know that as schools return to in-person learning, restaurants and bars open even more widely and more events begin, there is more risk to spreading COVID,” Edwards said in a statement. “I also remain incredibly concerned about how Hurricane Delta will impact our ability to operate community testing and also displace people in ways that may lead to spread.”
Hurricane Delta is set to make landfall in Louisiana in the next several hours, in the same area that was hammered by Hurricane Laura six weeks earlier.
Delta expected to make landfall Friday afternoon
The storm’s center is moving northward toward Southwest Louisiana, where it’s expected to make landfall Friday afternoon with hurricane conditions and a life-threatening storm surge, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.
As of Friday afternoon, the storm was located 130 miles south-southwest of Cameron, Louisiana, with maximum winds of 115 mph, down from 120 mph, the hurricane center said. After making landfall, the storm is expected to move across central and northeastern Louisiana tonight and Saturday morning.
Louisiana police chief warns residents they might not be able to help during storm
The police chief in Church Point, Louisiana, is warning residents that emergency responders may not be able to reach them when hurricane-force winds hit the town.
“When the winds get above 40 mph, I have my units go to the stationary position and stay there because I don’t want them rolling around with things flying,” Chief Dale Thibodeaux said, according to CBS affiliate KLFY. ” I’m not going to sacrifice my officers’ safety.”
The police chief warned residents that fire officials and other first responders will also pull all units off the roads when winds rise to 35 to 45 mph.
“We’re not saying you don’t need to be rescued, but we can’t sacrifice four or five lives to try to go rescue you, and it costs four or five lives. That’s why we’re trying to warn everybody now. If you’re not in a stable structure, find a place that is stable. If you’re in a low-lying area, maybe go stay at somebody’s house until this is over,” Thibodeaux said.
Radar shows Delta’s eye nearing the coast
The eye of the storm was located about 110 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, mid-Friday morning and was heading north, according to a National Weather Service meteorologist.
Dan Reilly tweeted an image showing the storm’s location and said part of its eyewall was just 80 miles out.
Delta poised to make history when it strikes U.S.
Delta will be a record 10th named storm to hit the continental United States this year, according to hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach, of Colorado State University. He said that will break a record of nine named storms set in 1916.
Delta also will be the fifth hurricane to hit the continental U.S. in 2020. And it will be the first hurricane named from the Greek alphabet to hit the continental United States.
Beta was a tropical storm when it made landfall earlier this year.
Concerns over debris from Hurricane Laura
Huge piles of debris caused by Hurricane Laura in August stretched along roadways in Bell City, southeast of Lake Charles on Thursday. Concerns have mounted that Delta’s arrival in Louisiana could cause uncollected debris to become airborne and turn into deadly projectiles.
Some rooftops with lingering damage from Laura are still covered in blue tarps. And in Cameron Parish, power poles along Highway 27 in a desolate stretch of marsh were all either broken or leaning – none appeared to have been repaired since the August storm.
Further south, a church and a convenience store had been reduced by Laura to debris in the community of Creole. Exposed slabs were all that remained of many buildings, while some sheet metal buildings that still stood had gaping holes.
Louisiana governor urges people to stay off roads
Louisiana’s governor is urging people to stay off roads and listen to their local officials as the state starts to feel the impact of Hurricane Delta.
“Be smart and be safe today,” Governor John Bel Edwards tweeted.
Homes damaged by Laura pause repairs for Delta
Delta is threatening Louisiana communities that are still working to rebuild weeks after they were hit by Hurricane Laura.
In Iowa, a town near Lake Charles, Louisiana, many homes look like patchwork or are using tarps. On the night before Delta’s expected landfall, a generator was still running at one home to supply power – six weeks after Laura, CBS affiliate KLFY reports.
“It’s not frustrating. It’s sad to me,” Wayne Bertrand, who lives in the town, told the station. His family lived without power for five weeks following Laura.
Earl Guillory’s home just became liveable again, so his wife could go back home. But as Delta neared she was once again evacuating. “Since August the 27 she’s been here three days. Three days and now she’s gone again,” Guillory said, KLFY reported.
Curfews set in Louisiana
Parts of Louisiana are already under curfew or will have curfews in place over the next day as the eye of Hurricane Delta moves closer to the coast.
Lafayette city and parish’s curfew is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. local time Friday and remain in place until 8 a.m. Saturday. Only essential and emergency personnel are permitted to travel between those hours, according to CBS affiliate KLFY.
The City of New Iberia has issued a city-wide curfew over two nights, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. overnight Thursday and Friday. St. Landry Parish’s curfew and St. Martin Parish’s curfew will go into effect on Friday at noon, running through 8 a.m. Saturday. A parish-wide curfew will go into effect for Acadia Parish from dusk Friday until dawn, until further notice.
Curfews are also currently in effect in Jeff Davis Parish, Ville Platte and Maurice, KLFY reported.
Image shows Delta’s likely path
Forecasters shared an image Friday showing Hurricane Delta’s location off the Gulf Coast as of 7 a.m. local time, and its likely path.
The center of the storm is expected to hit southwest Louisiana Friday then move north. It is forecast to be positioned over central Louisiana by 1 a.m. Saturday.
Latest list of warnings
The following warnings from the National Hurricane Center were in effect as of early Friday.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:
- High Island Texas to Mouth of the Pearl River Louisiana including Calcasieu Lake, Vermilion Bay, and Lake Borgne
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- High Island Texas to Morgan City Louisiana
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- West of High Island to Sargent Texas
- East of Morgan City Louisiana to the mouth of the Pearl River, including New Orleans
- Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas
Rainbands spread into Texas and Louisiana
Delta’s rainbands were spreading into southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas early Friday morning as the storm continued to move north in the Gulf, before its expected landfall later Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm was located about 160 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana, at 7 a.m. local time, moving north at 12 mph.
Forecasters continue to eye likely storm surge
As Hurricane Delta continues its steady march toward an expected Friday evening landfall over Louisiana, National Hurricane Center forecasters continued to warn that a “life-threatening” storm surge of up to 11 feet is possible in some areas.
The highest surge “is expected somewhere between Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge and Morgan City, Louisiana,” the center said.
It added that Delta could bring rainfall of five-to-ten inches in many places, with isolated inundations of up to fifteen inches.
As of 2 a.m. ET Friday, Delta was about 250 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana, and heading north-northwest at 12 mph. It was packing 120 mph sustained winds, making it a dangerous Category 3 storm.
Louisiana governor: “We will get through this”
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards had a message Thursday night for residents in the southwest part of the state.
“I know you are strong,” he tweeted. “I also know you’re about to be tested again. Please finish making preparations now. We will get through this.”