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Hurricane Zeta weakens to Tropical Storm after killing three

Hurricane Zeta weakens to Tropical Storm after killing three

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Hurricane Zeta weakens to Tropical Storm after killing three

Hurricane Zeta weakened to a tropical storm as it ripped through the South early Thursday morning, after killing at least three people and knocking out power to more than two million people across the region, with life-threatening conditions expected to last throughout the day.

Zeta made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday evening in the small fishing village of Cocodrie in Southern Louisiana, before moving towards New Orleans and onto Mississippi and Alabama with top sustained winds of 110mph.

it is now traveling rapidly northeast at 39mph, with maximum sustained winds of 60mph west of Asheville, North Carolina. 

Tropical Storm Warnings stretch from Georgia to southeastern Virginia as Zeta will cross the mid-Atlantic states before moving offshore around Delaware and southern New Jersey.

The storm killed at least three people including a 55-year-old man who a Louisiana coroner said was electrocuted by a downed power line in New Orleans. 

In Georgia, authorities said a man was killed when high winds caused a tree to fall onto a mobile home in Cherokee County.

Alabama man Leslie Richardson, 58, died by drowning after taking video of Hurricane Zeta coming ashore at the beach in Biloxi, Mississippi. He got into his car and got stuck in deep water and called police for help, but when cops tried to reach him in their military-style vehicles water had reached over the height of the hood of his car and they lost communication with him, according to NOLA.com. 

After a search Richardson was found and pronounced dead.

Hurricane Zeta weakened to a tropical storm as it ripped through the South Thursday morning, killing at least three people and knocking out power to more than two million people across the region, with life-threatening conditions expected to last throughout the day. A woman stands in front of a destroyed restaurant in the wake of the storm on Thursday in Chalmette, Louisiana

Zeta made landfall as a Category 2 storm in Southern Louisiana Wednesday evening in the small fishing village of Cocodrie before moving towards New Orleans and onto Mississippi and Alabama with top sustained winds of 110mph. A view of Zeta battering a neighborhood in Chalmette, Louisiana above

Zeta made landfall as a Category 2 storm in Southern Louisiana Wednesday evening in the small fishing village of Cocodrie before moving towards New Orleans and onto Mississippi and Alabama with top sustained winds of 110mph. A view of Zeta battering a neighborhood in Chalmette, Louisiana above  

One Atlanta man had to be extricated from a three-story home Wednesday night after a tree fell into his bedroom and he was pinned to his bed.

He suffered minor injuries and was transported to a hospital

One Atlanta man had to be extricated from a three-story home Wednesday night after a tree fell into his bedroom and he was pinned to his bed. He suffered minor injuries and was transported to a hospital

Atlanta firefighters pictured transporting the man they freed after he got trapped in his third-floor bedroom by a toppled tree on Brookview Drive in Atlanta

Atlanta firefighters pictured transporting the man they freed after he got trapped in his third-floor bedroom by a toppled tree on Brookview Drive in Atlanta

Power and electrical lines were down across the South due to the storm's fierce winds. A view of a broken power line in Chalmette, Louisiana above Thursday

Power and electrical lines were down across the South due to the storm’s fierce winds. A view of a broken power line in Chalmette, Louisiana above Thursday

More than two million homes and businesses were left without power across Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi as of 8am, according to PowerOutage.us. In Georgia alone, more than 1 million customers had no electricity. Louisiana was reporting more than half a million outages

More than two million homes and businesses were left without power across Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi as of 8am, according to PowerOutage.us. In Georgia alone, more than 1 million customers had no electricity. Louisiana was reporting more than half a million outages

Zeta is slated to swirl northeast and move into Delaware and New Jersey before pushing out into the Atlantic early Friday morning

Zeta is slated to swirl northeast and move into Delaware and New Jersey before pushing out into the Atlantic early Friday morning

Tropical Storm Warnings stretch from Georgia to southeastern Virginia as Zeta will cross the mid-Atlantic states before moving offshore around Delaware and southern New Jersey

Tropical Storm Warnings stretch from Georgia to southeastern Virginia as Zeta will cross the mid-Atlantic states before moving offshore around Delaware and southern New Jersey

In its path Zeta ripped apart buildings, brought pounding rains and downed power lines, hitting Louisiana hard as the state still reels from the damage of Hurricane Delta which struck on October 9.

The National Hurricane Center warns that strong, damaging wind gusts will continue to whip through the south and heavy rainfall is expected from Louisiana moving up to the central Appalachians to the lower Ohio Valley. Heavy rain and winds are also pounding eastern Tennessee and the Carolinas. 

On Thursday morning New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged locals to leave downed power lines and debris in the streets alone.

‘Our public safety officials are beginning to assess the damage, this is not for residents to do themselves. Please leave it up to public safety officials to manage the damages caused by hurricane Zeta and I say that because we have since lost one of our residents of the city of New Orleans as it relates to again going out, touching a wire, was electrocuted, and is now deceased,’ she warned.  

More than two million homes and businesses were left without power across Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi as of 8am, according to PowerOutage.us. 

In Georgia alone, more than 1 million customers had no electricity. Louisiana was reporting more than half a million outages. 

Zeta weakened over central Alabama and its strong winds were felt in the Florida Panhandle early Thursday. 

The governors of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi each declared a state of emergency in advance of Zeta’s landfall. 

A toppled tree lays on top of a car in Talladega, Alabama on Thursday after hurricane-force winds blew through the state

A toppled tree lays on top of a car in Talladega, Alabama on Thursday after hurricane-force winds blew through the state

Workers clear debris from Hurricane Zeta at St Bernard Middle School on Thursday

Workers clear debris from Hurricane Zeta at St Bernard Middle School on Thursday

More than 200 trees were reported down in Louisiana as the storm packed a punch as it whipped through the city. A view of workers clearing debris from Hurricane Zeta at St Bernard Middle School in Lousiana above

More than 200 trees were reported down in Louisiana as the storm packed a punch as it whipped through the city. A view of workers clearing debris from Hurricane Zeta at St Bernard Middle School in Lousiana above

Drone photo of damage to St Bernard Middle School in St. Bernard, Louisiana shows how the roof was ripped off and debris was scattered across the parking lot and lawn in Hurricane Zeta

Drone photo of damage to St Bernard Middle School in St. Bernard, Louisiana shows how the roof was ripped off and debris was scattered across the parking lot and lawn in Hurricane Zeta

The vicious storm howled through New Orleans, downing trees, power lines and electrical equipment onto cars below

The vicious storm howled through New Orleans, downing trees, power lines and electrical equipment onto cars below

Zeta killed at least three people and left two million without power. Residents in New Orleans pictured emerging Wednesday to assess the damage left in the wake of the fast-moving storm

Zeta killed at least three people and left two million without power. Residents in New Orleans pictured emerging Wednesday to assess the damage left in the wake of the fast-moving storm

On Thursday morning New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged locals to leave downed power lines and debris in the streets alone. 'Our public safety officials are beginning to assess the damage, this is not for residents to do themselves. Please leave it up to public safety officials to manage the damages caused by hurricane Zeta and I say that because we have since lost one of our residents of the city of New Orleans as it relates to again going out, touching a wire, was electrocuted, and is now deceased,' she warned

On Thursday morning New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged locals to leave downed power lines and debris in the streets alone. ‘Our public safety officials are beginning to assess the damage, this is not for residents to do themselves. Please leave it up to public safety officials to manage the damages caused by hurricane Zeta and I say that because we have since lost one of our residents of the city of New Orleans as it relates to again going out, touching a wire, was electrocuted, and is now deceased,’ she warned

A view of the eerie sky in Arabi, Lousiana Wednesday night as Delta passes over. A record seven hurrIcanes have hit the Gulf Coast in 2020, bringing prolonged destruction to the area

A view of the eerie sky in Arabi, Lousiana Wednesday night as Delta passes over. A record seven hurrIcanes have hit the Gulf Coast in 2020, bringing prolonged destruction to the area

Ominous clouds move over the famous Lafayette Cemetery No. 2 as the remnants of Hurricane Zeta sweep through New Orleans, Louisiana Wednesday evening

Ominous clouds move over the famous Lafayette Cemetery No. 2 as the remnants of Hurricane Zeta sweep through New Orleans, Louisiana Wednesday evening

More than 200 trees were reported down in the city as the storm packed a punch as it whipped through the city, swaying restaurant signs and collapsing a structure that led one person to be hospitalized with minor injuries.

Waveland Mayor Mike Smith told WLOX-TV that his Mississippi Gulf Coast city, which was part of the area most heavily damaged by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina has maybe taken the worst hit since then from Zeta.

‘We’re going to see a whole lot of damage in the morning,’ Smith said.

Among the many trees blown down was one that fell on Smith’s own house. ‘It was my next-door neighbor’s and he wanted to give it to me, apparently,’ Smith said.

In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards was expected Thursday to tour the coastal regions hardest hit by the storm. 

‘Zeta has left hazards like flooded roads, downed power lines and displaced wildlife in our communities that no one should take lightly. Now is not the time to go sight-seeing,’ Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards tweeted Thursday morning. ‘Everyone needs to remain vigilant, continue to listen to local officials and be safe.’

Zeta is now traveling northeast at 39mph with winds up to 60mph projected to cross through the Carolinas up to New Jersey before swirling into the Atlantic by Friday morning

Zeta is now traveling northeast at 39mph with winds up to 60mph projected to cross through the Carolinas up to New Jersey before swirling into the Atlantic by Friday morning

Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Kentucky, all the way through New York will see rain forcasts through Friday

Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Kentucky, all the way through New York will see rain forcasts through Friday 

Joel Martinez, who until just recently lived in the lower apartment, takes a photo of Washington Garden's Apartments after it collapsed from the winds brought by Hurricane Zeta in New Orleans, Louisiana on Wednesday

Joel Martinez, who until just recently lived in the lower apartment, takes a photo of Washington Garden’s Apartments after it collapsed from the winds brought by Hurricane Zeta in New Orleans, Louisiana on Wednesday 

Zeta had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 90 mph as it moved into southern Mississippi few hours after landfall, but forecasters said it remained a life-threatening storm. Hurricane-force winds blew through Mobile, Alabama, and a NOAA gauge reported a 10-foot storm surge in Waveland, Mississippi

Zeta had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 90 mph as it moved into southern Mississippi few hours after landfall, but forecasters said it remained a life-threatening storm. Hurricane-force winds blew through Mobile, Alabama, and a NOAA gauge reported a 10-foot storm surge in Waveland, Mississippi

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a radio interview that boats broke loose and struck a bridge in Lafitte. He said blackouts were extensive, including 94 per cent without power in Plaquemines Parish. 'The wind has caused extensive structural damages to businesses, to homes, to electrical infrastructure,' Edwards said

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a radio interview that boats broke loose and struck a bridge in Lafitte. He said blackouts were extensive, including 94 per cent without power in Plaquemines Parish. ‘The wind has caused extensive structural damages to businesses, to homes, to electrical infrastructure,’ Edwards said

A view of Hurricane Zeta raging through the Louisiana above

A view of Hurricane Zeta raging through the Louisiana above 

A resident clears storm drains after the eye of Hurricane Zeta passes over on Wednesday in Arabi, Louisiana. A record seven hurrIcanes have hit the Gulf Coast in 2020, bringing prolonged destruction to the area

A resident clears storm drains after the eye of Hurricane Zeta passes over on Wednesday in Arabi, Louisiana. A record seven hurrIcanes have hit the Gulf Coast in 2020, bringing prolonged destruction to the area

In Georgia, Atlanta is now under a tropical storm warning for the second time ever – the first was in 2017 with Hurricane Irma.

Across the state Zeta downed trees and power lines and several school districts either moved classes online or canceled classes Thursday as more than one million homes and businesses were without power.

First responders in Atlanta rescued an Atlanta man who was found pinned to his bed when a large tree fell into his bedroom. He suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital.

Zeta is the 27th named storm of a historically busy Atlantic hurricane season — with over a month left to go. It set a new record as the 11th named storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. in a single season, well beyond the nine storms that hit in 1916.

Zeta weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 90 mph as it moved into southern Mississippi a few hours after landfall.

A boat on the road south of the levee system in Golden Meadow. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards added: 'It's going to be a rough evening for Louisiana, particular in the southeastern portion. I am confident that we are well prepared for this'

A boat on the road south of the levee system in Golden Meadow. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards added: ‘It’s going to be a rough evening for Louisiana, particular in the southeastern portion. I am confident that we are well prepared for this’

By Wednesday afternoon, Zeta's top winds had risen to just shy of a major, Category 3 storm

By Wednesday afternoon, Zeta’s top winds had risen to just shy of a major, Category 3 storm

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Streams of rainfall ran off roofs in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, signs outside bars and restaurants swayed back and forth in the wind and palm trees along Canal Street whipped furiously.   

Hurricane-force winds blew through Mobile, Alabama, and a NOAA gauge reported a 10-foot storm surge in Waveland, Mississippi.   

‘I don’t think we’re going to be as lucky with this one,’ city emergency director Collin Arnold hD said.   

As much as five feet of Gulf water surrounded a casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, and deputies in Harrison County, Mississippi, received multiple calls from people who had remained in mobile homes that were threatened by winds.

Officials had urged people to take precautions and prepare to shelter in place, and a business-as-usual atmosphere in the morning in New Orleans diminished as the storm neared and grew stronger. Traffic slowed, and restaurants and coffee shops shut down.

The sky turns pink as Hurricane Zeta sweeps through New Orleans. The storm left more than two million across the South without power by Thursday morning

The sky turns pink as Hurricane Zeta sweeps through New Orleans. The storm left more than two million across the South without power by Thursday morning

A tree lays across North Peters Street as Hurricane Zeta sweeps through New Orleans; Streams of rainfall ran off roofs in New Orleans' famed French Quarter, signs outside bars and restaurants swayed back and forth in the wind and palm trees along Canal Street whipped furiously

A tree lays across North Peters Street as Hurricane Zeta sweeps through New Orleans; Streams of rainfall ran off roofs in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, signs outside bars and restaurants swayed back and forth in the wind and palm trees along Canal Street whipped furiously

A small stretch of Bourbon Street that has power is seen from an otherwise darkened French Quarter in New Orleans

A small stretch of Bourbon Street that has power is seen from an otherwise darkened French Quarter in New Orleans

People walk along a sidewalk in New Orleans as the outer eye wall of Hurricane Zeta passed by the city

People walk along a sidewalk in New Orleans as the outer eye wall of Hurricane Zeta passed by the city

‘This year, the storms have been coming back-to-back. They’ve been avoiding New Orleans but finally decided to come,’ cookie shop worker Curt Brumfield said as he stowed empty boxes in trash cans outside and others boarded up the windows.    

Winds picked up and water rose above the docks in Jean Lafitte, a small fishing town south of New Orleans that takes its name from a French pirate. Workers drove truckloads of sand to low-lying areas where thousands of sandbags were already stacked for previous storms.

‘We’re going to get a lot of water fast,’ said the mayor, Tim Kerner Jr. ‘I’m optimistic regarding the tidal surge because of the speed of the storm, but we’re not going to take it for granted.’

Zeta’s wind, rain and storm surge reached more than 150 miles (241 kilometers) east of New Orleans. In Mississippi, streetlights swayed in Biloxi and the city of Pass Christian ordered all boats out of the harbor. Dauphin Island, Alabama, shut off water and sewer service in areas that typically are swamped in storms. 

The deteriorating weather prompted early voting sites to close for hours in the western Florida Panhandle. One voter in Mississippi worried about how long felled trees and debris might block roads.

‘With the election I just kind of hope the city gets the roads clear by November 3rd so everybody can get out and vote,’ said Mackenzie Umanzor, of D’Iberville, Mississippi.

On Tuesday, Zeta raked across Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, toppling trees and briefly cutting power to more than 300,000 people but causing no deaths.

Dozens of boats trailered behind humvees are parked and ready to roll as Louisiana National Guardsmen gather in front of Jackson Barracks as the New Orleans area prepares for Hurricane Zeta on Wednesday

Dozens of boats trailered behind humvees are parked and ready to roll as Louisiana National Guardsmen gather in front of Jackson Barracks as the New Orleans area prepares for Hurricane Zeta on Wednesday

General Manager of Pere Antoine Restaurant Gaige Rodriguez, left, and cook Michael Dillon board up windows as they prepare for the arrival of tropical storm Zeta which is expected to strengthen to a hurricane in New Orleans

General Manager of Pere Antoine Restaurant Gaige Rodriguez, left, and cook Michael Dillon board up windows as they prepare for the arrival of tropical storm Zeta which is expected to strengthen to a hurricane in New Orleans

Hurricane Zeta made landfall in storm-weary Louisiana on Wednesday with New Orleans squarely in its path; Katy D'Aquino and her husband Jason board up their gallery Fawkes Fine Art in the French Quarter for the eighth time since the beginning of the pandemic, as they prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Zeta in New Orleans Wednesday

Hurricane Zeta made landfall in storm-weary Louisiana on Wednesday with New Orleans squarely in its path; Katy D’Aquino and her husband Jason board up their gallery Fawkes Fine Art in the French Quarter for the eighth time since the beginning of the pandemic, as they prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Zeta in New Orleans Wednesday 

Zeta had top sustained winds of 110mph as a Category 2 hurricane in the afternoon and was the 27th named storm of the season — with over a month left before it ends. It brings with it the threat of an 11 foot high storm surge and flash flooding. yler McCoy, Willie Malone and Daquan Hamis load sand bags as Hurricane Zeta approaches in Gulfport, Mississippi Wednesday

Zeta had top sustained winds of 110mph as a Category 2 hurricane in the afternoon and was the 27th named storm of the season — with over a month left before it ends. It brings with it the threat of an 11 foot high storm surge and flash flooding. yler McCoy, Willie Malone and Daquan Hamis load sand bags as Hurricane Zeta approaches in Gulfport, Mississippi Wednesday 

It then regained strength over the Gulf of Mexico along a path slightly to the east of those of Hurricane Laura, which was blamed for at least 27 deaths in Louisiana in August, and Hurricane Delta, which exacerbated Laura’s damage in the same area weeks later. 

An average season sees six hurricanes and 12 named storms. This extraordinarily busy season has focused attention on climate change, which scientists say is causing wetter, stronger and more destructive storms.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards asked President Donald Trump for a disaster declaration ahead of the storm. He and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey both declared emergencies, as did Mayor Andrew ‘FoFo’ Gilich in Biloxi, Mississippi. Trump declared an emergency for Louisiana Tuesday evening.

An average season sees six hurricanes and 12 named storms. This extraordinarily busy season has focused attention on climate change, which scientists say is causing wetter, stronger and more destructive storms. 

And as the 11th named storm to make landfall in the continental U.S., Zeta will set a new record, well beyond the nine storms that hit in 1916.

‘I’m physically and mentally tired,’ a distraught Yolanda Lockett of Lake Charles, one of about 3,600 evacuees from Laura and Delta still sheltering, said outside her New Orleans hotel. 


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