Hurricane Delta Rapidly Intensifies to Category 4 Storm, Endangers Gulf Coast

Hurricane Delta has rapidly intensified into a Category 4 storm, and is endangering the Gulf Coast. According to NBC News, Delta took just 24 hours to strengthen into a powerful hurricane with up to 130 miles per hour winds and is currently on a path toward the Gulf of Mexico. At this time, Delta is projected to make its first landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Beyond that, Hurricane Delta will move into the Gulf. Experts believe that some areas of the Gulf Coast might start experiencing the effects of Delta on Thursday evening. Heavy rain and winds are likely to increase on Friday. Meteorologists are not yet able to narrow down where exactly Hurricane Delta will make landfall. They warn that all of the Gulf Coast, from East Texas to the Florida Panhandle, could be at risk. They are encouraging all residents in these areas to begin making preparations now, in the event that the storm does hit their part of the coast.

Another recent hurricane to hit the Gulf area was Hurricane Laura. That storm system made landfall in August, and mostly impacted the state of Louisiana. Early on in projections for the storm, the city of Galveston, Texas was forecast to be in Laura's path, which led to an evacuation order from city leadership. "Mandatory evacuations will be ongoing throughout the day and early tomorrow, so people have time to secure their properties, businesses, etc. and leave for safety. Residents are NOT required to be off the island by 12 p.m. City services will be suspended at 12 p.m. People should be getting their plans together this morning for an evacuation."

However, as daylight broke, it was discovered that the Galveston did not incur damage, and only had some flooding that will likely recede soon. "We're feeling very fortunate this morning," the city said in a statement on Thursday, adding that it "did not sustain wind or storm damage, and water is receding in low-lying areas that experienced street flooding." Galveston leaders then offered their support to the surrounding areas that were heavily impacted, saying, "While we feel thankful and lucky this morning, our thoughts are with our neighbors along the upper Texas Coast and Louisiana."