Hurricane Zeta made landfall Wednesday afternoon near Cocoderie, Louisiana, with winds estimated at 110 mph, before weakening to a tropical storm early Thursday over central Alabama.
Zeta is the 11th tropical storm or hurricane to hit the U.S. this year, an all-time record high for the nation. It’s also the fifth tropical storm or hurricane to hit Louisiana this year, an all-time record for the state.
At least one person was reported dead, a 55-year-old man who a Louisiana coroner said was electrocuted by a downed power line in New Orleans.
Louisiana has had the worst of it this year, hit by two tropical storms and now three hurricanes. New Orleans has been in the warning area for potential tropical cyclones seven times this year, with each one veering to the east or west.
Gov. Tate Reeves has announced that President Donald Trump has approved another disaster declaration for Mississippi as Hurricane Zeta ravages the southeastern portion of the state.
The declaration is the second in October alone, following the declaration issued after Hurricane Delta tore through the southwestern region of the state earlier in the month.
The announcement comes as power outages continue to climb in the state as Hurricane Zeta makes its way through Mississippi. More than 177,000 customers are without electricity in the southeastern portion of the state, according to the latest data from poweroutage.us.
- Location: 25 miles south-southwest of Tuscaloosa, Alabama
- Maximum sustained winds: 70 mph
- Movement: Northeast at 31 mph
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards warned residents to prepare for the record fifth tropical cyclone to make landfall in the state this year. “The good thing and the bad thing is we’ve had a lot of practice this year,” Edwards said.
In neighboring Alabama, Gov. Kay Ivey also issued a state of emergency. The order went into effect at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
“While this storm is not expected to have an impact as large as storms we’ve seen move through the Gulf earlier this year, we want to be in the best place possible to respond to anticipated rain, storm surge and mass power outage,” Ivey said.
– Kirsten Fiscus, Montgomery Advertiser; Greg Hilburn, Monroe News-Star
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Similar to Hurricane Laura – which touched down in the U.S. around late-August – remnant moisture of Zeta has a high probability to reach New Jersey by early Friday morning, resulting in cold rain and a small chance of some wet snow, according to Jonathan Carr, who runs Weather NJ.
When Zeta begins to make its way toward the central part of the country, then up toward the East Coast, its remnants are expected to collide with a disturbance moving from the Colorado Rockies sometime Thursday morning, Carr said.
“Meanwhile, with cold air pressing south, the rain will mix over to snow and sleet in the Poconos, Catskills, northwestern New Jersey, the Hudson River Valley, and northern Connecticut with minor snow accumulations under 4 inches expected,” DiMartino said. DiMartino said most of the snowfall will be on “cold surfaces,” with windy conditions expected for most of Thursday and Friday.
– Joshua Chung, Asbury Park Press
Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore and self-proclaimed “Grim Reaper” of storms is tracking Tropical Storm Zeta from Gulfport, Mississippi.
“I thought October was supposed to be a quiet month … It’s 2020,” Cantore joked Tuesday.
Cantore is no stranger to Gulfport this hurricane season. He chased Hurricane Sally down the Gulf Coast last month from Mississippi to Alabama to Florida.
– Daniella Medina, Mississippi Clarion Ledger
Contributing: The Associated Press