Tropical Storm Zeta is reportedly escalating to hurricane strength ahead of landfall. According to The Weather Channel, the storm has moved back into the Gulf of Mexico, and is projected to increase in strength before hitting the coast. At this time, it is projected to make landfall sometime on Wednesday.
The outlet notes that the storm will most likely bring in heavy rainfall, incredibly strong winds and potentially life-threatening storm surge. Many areas of the Gulf are already putting out storm surge warnings. Regarding Zeta's strengthening, a hurricane warning is already in place for portions of the Gulf extending from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi/Alabama border. This region includes Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and New Orleans' metropolitan area. Zeta is the 11th hurricane formed in the Atlantic Ocean this season.
A Hurricane Warning for #Zeta is in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border. Tropical-storm-force winds will likely begin Wednesday afternoon, with hurricane conditions expected late Wednesday on portions of the northern Gulf Coast. pic.twitter.com/aQuA8v0jBJ— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) October 27, 2020
CBS News reports that Zeta has already barred down on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The outlet notes that wind speeds for the storm were clocked at 65 miles per hour as it sets on a 450 mile course for southeast Louisiana. Notably, the state has already been hit by two other hurricane this year: Laura and Delta. Hurrincane Laura has been blamed for 27 deaths in the state, and Delta added to much of the damage that Laura had already left in it wake.
"It really is scary, and I don't know what to do," said Yolanda Lockett, a resident who evacuated her Lake Charles apartment ahead of Laura, which hit in August. "I'm physically and mentally tired," she said as she stood outside of a New Orleans hotel. Robert Campo, a Louisiana fisherman, added, "We're getting pretty good at it for doing it five times this season so far," as he prepared for Zeta hit.
1/3 Here's the latest on Tropical Storm #Zeta. Winds 65mph and forecast to become a hurricane within the next 12 hours. Landfall Wednesday in Louisiana is likely. Storm surge up to 6 feet is possible. A hurricane warning is in effect for New Orleans pic.twitter.com/DpGaimkJsf— Mike Bettes (@mikebettes) October 27, 2020
"The downfall of it is, when ... we're down for four or five days, that's four or five days nobody's fishing," Campo went on to say. "That's four or five days nobody is shrimping. That's four or five days, no economic wheels are turning."