As predicted, Hurricane Zeta’s fury took aim at Louisiana, making landfall as a Category 2 on Wednesday, leaving at least three people dead and over 2.4 million without power in seven southern states. As of early Thursday morning, the storm had been downgraded to tropical status as it made its way through Alabama and Georgia with sustained winds gusting more than 70 miles per hour.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned residents via Twitter to stay inside from Thursday into Friday due to the dangerous conditions, including flooded roadways, downed trees and power lines. A 55-year old man was electrocuted to death in the Orleans Parish from a dangling live electrical wire.
The fast-moving storm is expected to reach the Mid-Atlantic region by Thursday afternoon, traveling at around 40 miles per hour and continue north over the western Atlantic Ocean by Thursday night. Meteorologists predict the pace of the storm will allow it to maintain its tropical strength with the potential for heavy rain, gusty winds and flash flooding through the overnight into Friday. A tropical storm warning is in effect across the southeast, including Atlanta, Georgia, which has only experienced a storm warning of this magnitude one other time, in 2017 after Hurricane Irma pummeled Florida as a Category 4.
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.