The Latest: Hurricane Delta weakens slightly on path to US

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Delta (all times CDT):

10:15 a.m.

MIAMI — Forecasters say Hurricane Delta has weakened slightly, but remains a Category 3 storm.

On Friday morning, Delta had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph), down from 120 mph (195 kph) a few hours earlier. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the hurricane is expected to continue a weakening trend until it makes landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast, but is still a dangerous storm.

Delta is expected to make landfall Friday evening and could strike in the same general area as Hurricane Laura did in late August.

In its latest advisory, the Hurricane Center says Delta is about 130 miles (205 kilometers) south-southwest of Cameron, Louisiana. It is moving north at 13 mph (20 kph).


10 a.m.

LAKE CHARLES, La. — Everywhere in Lake Charles, Louisiana, there are remnants of Hurricane Laura. Blue tarps cover roofs all over the city.

Piles of garbage are neatly lined up along every roadway in a sign of how much cleaning was being done after Laura.

Mattresses and box springs, air-conditioning duct work, vinyl siding, and cut-up logs and branches are all piled up at curbs.

But officials have worried that all of it could turn into projectiles once Hurricane Delta’s winds kick up. Delta is expected to make landfall late Friday and could strike in the same general area as Laura did on Aug. 27.

Already Friday morning, rain is continuing and water is pooling along many debris-lined streets in Lake Charles — hours ahead of Delta’s arrival.


9:15 a.m.

A hurricane researcher says that when Delta makes landfall, it will be a record 10th named storm to hit the continental United States this year.

Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University says that will break a record of nine named storms set in 1916. This year’s lineup includes Bertha, Cristobal, Fay, Hanna, Isaias, Laura, Marco, Sally, and Beta.

Delta also will be the fifth hurricane to hit the continental United States this year. The last time that happened was 2005.

Delta is the latest and nastiest in a recent flurry of rapidly intensifying Atlantic hurricanes that scientists largely blame on global warming.

Klotzbach says Delta also will be the first hurricane named from the Greek alphabet to hit the continental United States. Beta was a tropical storm when it made landfall earlier this year.


7:45 a.m.

Forecasters say tropical storm-force winds are now near the Louisiana coastline as Hurricane Delta bears down on the region.

The National Hurricane Center said the center of the storm was about 160 miles (257 kilometers) south of Cameron, Louisiana, early Friday — and its tropical storm-force winds extend the same distance outward.

Delta is expected to bring fierce winds and a life-threatening storm surge to large parts of the Louisiana Gulf Coast when it reaches the coast later Friday.

In its 7 a.m. advisory, the Hurricane Center says Delta has maintained its maximum sustained winds of around 120 mph (193 kph). That’s an extremely dangerous Category 3 hurricane. Forecasters expect it to weaken before landfall, but they say it’s such a big storm that the surge of water could be very damaging.


4 a.m.

MIAMI — Hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge are forecast for southwestern Louisiana when Hurricane Delta makes landfall, which is expected Friday evening.

The National Hurricane Center says in its 4 a.m. advisory that the system is located about 200 miles (325 kilometers) south of Cameron, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds around 120 mph (193 kph).

Delta is moving north at 12 mph (19kph). It’s a Category 3 hurricane, but forecasters expect a slow weakening as Delta approaches the Gulf Coast. Further, more rapid weakening is expected after the system moves inland.


1 a.m.

A hurricane warning, storm surge warning and tropical storm warnings are in effect for Hurricane Delta, a major hurricane spinning toward the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The National Hurricane Center says in a 1 a.m. advisory that Delta is centered 250 miles (400 kilometers) south of Cameron, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds at 120 mph (195 kph).

The hurricane warning stretches from High Island, Texas, to Morgan City, Louisiana. The Category 3 system could strengthen slightly overnight before weakening as it approaches the coast, forecaster say.

Storm surge up to 11 feet (3.4 meters) is forecast for some areas. Delta is forecast to make landfall later Friday.

The tropical storm warnings extend west of High Island to Sargent, Texas, and east of Morgan City to the mouth of the Pearl River. Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas are also under a tropical storm warning.

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