Zeta, the 27th named storm of the 2020 season has formed in the Caribbean over the weekend, gained strength Monday afternoon to become a hurricane, which forecasters warn is likely to make landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast, where storm-beleaguered residents are fearful of yet another round of destruction.
The storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph as it intensified into a Category 1 hurricane centered about 90 miles southeast of Cozumel island off Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, the National Hurricane Center said today.
Hurrican Zeta is expected to break a record by becoming the 11th named storm to make landfall in the U.S. this season, with southeastern Louisiana potentially getting slammed around Wednesday afternoon, according to forecasters. Heavy rains, however, will already be felt in the central Gulf Coast on Tuesday night, spreading across eastern Mississippi and Alabama.
Zeta could revert to a tropical storm by the time it makes landfall in the U.S., said Joe Rua, a lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Lake Charles.
“It’s going to be a close call with remaining a Category 1,” he said.
From Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi-Alabama border, including Lake Pontchartrain and metropolitan New Orleans, a hurricane watch was in effect Monday evening. New Orleans officials also called for a voluntary evacuation Monday of some vulnerable districts as sandbags were being assembled.
No matter the storm’s strength, Gov. John Bel Edwards said, Louisiana, which is still recovering from hurricanes Laura and Delta, wouldn’t take Zeta for granted. He issued a state of emergency Monday and prepared 1,150 members of the Louisiana National Guard to be activated. “Good thing and the bad thing is we’ve had a lot of practice this year,” Edwards told reporters.
All the residents in the path of the storm should sure use our prayers, as they haven’t even got the needed repairs done from the previous two hurricanes.
We will keep you updated as the storm progresses towards the Louisiana coast.