RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) – Hurricane Delta remained a Category 3 storm Friday morning ahead of its forecasted landfall this evening, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. Friday advisory.
Delta’s winds remained at 120 mph Friday morning, the same as on Thursday night. It was about 200 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana, and was moving north at about 12 mph, the NHC said. The storm is expected to continue on a northward path today followed by a north-northeastward motion by tonight.
Slow weakening is expected to begin as Delta approaches the northern Gulf Coast later today, with rapid weakening expected after the center moves inland, according to the NHC.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says the most recent forecast for Hurricane Delta has the storm making landfall “almost precisely” where Hurricane Laura struck in August.
The governor said in a radio interview Thursday that southwestern Louisiana could be helped by the fast pace of Delta, which is expected to move in and out of the area more quickly than Laura.
But he also acknowledged the fragility of the region due to Laura, which damaged or destroyed thousands of homes. Many salvageable houses still are covered in blue tarps awaiting roof repairs or rebuilding.
“Those structures have not yet been repaired. The electrical infrastructure there is in the process of being repaired. And we’ve got people who are very tired. We’re still sheltering over 6,000 people from southwest Louisiana in 12 hotels, primarily in New Orleans,” Edwards said. “It’s going to be a very challenging situation.”
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