COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Hurricane Delta made landfall along the southwest coast of Louisiana Friday evening around sunset, with wind gusts up to 100 mph and a storm surge up to 11 feet.
Hurricane-force winds, life-threatening storm surge, flooding rain and possible tornadoes are likely, with the worst conditions primarily on the eastern side of the circulation center as it moves ashore. Rainfall is expected to range from 5 to 10 inches, with some locally heavier amounts.
The storm weakened slightly to a Category 2 hurricane before making landfall, likely due to encountering slightly cooler water and high-level wind shear.
Delta is hittine the region battered by Hurricane Laura six weeks ago that devastated southwestern Louisiana and caused $14 billion damage. Debris from the wreckage of Laura could potentially turn into projectiles.
The remnants of Delta will move through the Tennessee Valley Sunday, spreading rain north across the Ohio Valley as early as Saturday evening. Rainfall totals are projected to be heaviest over southeastern Ohio, parts of West Virginia, and the Allegheny Mountains of western Pennsylvania, where locally 2 to 3 inches are possible.
Delta is the 25th named Atlantic storm of the 2020 hurricane season, which ranks second behind 2005 (28 storms, including 15 hurricanes, and seven major hurricanes, with winds of 111+ mph).
Delta will set a record as the 10th landfalling tropical cyclone in the U.S. in a single year, breaking the record of nine observed in 1916. The 2020 season is only the second time the National Hurricane Center has used the Greek alphabet, and the first such hurricane to make landfall. Delta formed more than a month ahead of the 25th named storm in 2005 (Nov. 15).
Seven hurricanes struck the U.S. in 1886. The 1985 Atlantic hurricane season brought six landfalling hurricanes and eight named storms.