Hurricane Delta makes landfall in Louisiana; thousands without power

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Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Hurricane Delta made landfall in Creole, La., on Friday evening, slamming the Gulf Coast with 100 mph sustained winds and heavy rain.

The eye of the Category 2 storm struck land at 6 p.m. about a dozen miles east of where Hurricane Laura came ashore in August.

The Weather Channel said Delta is the first Greek-named storm to make landfall in mainland United States. It's also the first time in recorded history that the United States has had 10 landfalls in a season.

Delta is expected to weaken as it arcs toward the northeast in the coming days, reaching the middle of Louisiana early Saturday and at the Louisiana-Mississippi-Arkansas borders midday Saturday with tropical storm-force winds.

Tens of thousands of people in southern Louisiana prepared Friday for the arrival of Hurricane Delta, which reached Category 4 strength earlier during its development.

Residents boarded up windows and filled sandbags along the coastline, particularly in the southwestern part of the state. It's been six weeks since Hurricane Laura devastated the same area as a Category 4 storm.

Laura hit Lake Charles in late August and devastated large swaths of the city with 150 mph winds. Sally missed Louisiana, but its outer effects cut power to some areas of the state.

Some 170,000 customers in Louisiana and 75,000 in Texas were without power Friday evening as Delta battered the states for most of the day.

Authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders for Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis and Cameron parishes and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards urged extreme caution for residents Friday.

"Louisiana is feeling the impacts of #HurricaneDelta as landfall nears. As the storm moves through the state tonight, please stay safe and vigilant," he tweeted shortly before the storm made landfall.

Residents of Iowa, about 15 miles east of Lake Charles, suspended ongoing repairs from Laura to get ready for Delta.

"Laura was really bad, and from listening to the weather, I don't think this one is going to be quite as bad as Laura, so I'm not quite as nervous about this one," Iowa resident Wanda Bertrand told KLFY-TV.

Volunteers helped people and businesses board up in the city and the mayor said it's probably best if residents leave town to avoid the major storm.

"This is not a bad dream; it's not a test run," Mayor Nic Hunter wrote in a Facebook post. "These are the cards we've been dealt.

"I don't think Lake Charles will be a safe place to be this weekend."

In Mississippi, which will likely dodge a direct hit along the coast from Delta, more than 160,000 sandbags were delivered to communities across the state -- and Gov. Tate Reeves ordered the National Guard to stand by to take emergency measures.

"While it's going to be a challenging event, it's not going to be the kind of event that is going to be talked about for the next 50 years," Reeves said. "But, that could change and when individual Mississippians make bad decisions, then bad things could happen."

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