(CNN) — More than 32 million people are under tropical storm warnings from the US coast of the Gulf of Mexico to the mid-Atlantic this Thursday morning, as Zeta moves northeast.
The tropical cyclone has killed at least two people and left more than 1.9 million homes without electricity across the south of the country.
At 5 a.m. Miami time on Thursday, the Zeta center was close to the state line in northern Alabama and Georgia, about 100 km west of the Atlanta metropolitan area, whipping parts of both states with excess winds. 110 km / h.
The tropical storm was gathering momentum, traveling at about 60 km / h. He National Hurricane Center said that an even faster move to the northeast is expected this Thursday.
“On the forecast trajectory, the Zeta center will move through parts of the southeastern US this morning, across the mid-Atlantic states this afternoon, and will emerge over the western Atlantic tonight,” said the National Center. Hurricane, Thursday morning.
Storm Surge Warnings in Alabama
Zeta’s rapid advancement means the system won’t lose much power, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said. This will allow Zeta to maintain the intensity of a tropical storm with strong winds along its course towards the Atlantic.
Zeta is expected to bring gusts of high winds, generate isolated tornadoes and heavy rain with the potential to produce flash floods overnight.
Hurricane and storm surge advisories have been discontinued for all of Louisiana and the Mississippi coast, but coastal areas of Alabama were warned that the threat of storm surge persists due to the remaining winds from the hurricane.
At least 32.7 million people from the Gulf Coast to the Carolinas were under tropical storm warnings this morning. The last time the metro Atlanta area was under such a warning was October 2018, when Hurricane Michael passed over the region.
As the Zeta moved inland through the south, it caused substantial power outages in several states. More than 1.9 million utility customers were in the dark in Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi early Thursday, according to the PowerOutage.US website.
Many of the outages occurred in Louisiana, where the first death attributed to Zeta was reported Wednesday.
Louisiana is still reeling from previous storms
A 55-year-old man was electrocuted by a downed power line, the Louisiana Governor’s Office reported, citing the Orleans district coroner.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell tweeted that residents should stay home overnight.
STAY INSIDE: We can’t stress enough how dangerous the roads are right now in #NOLA. Trees and power lines generally downed. Also, many traffic lights are off. If you MUST drive tonight, be very careful and treat intersections with lights as four-way stops. #Zeta », wrote the mayor.
The city tweeted an image of a downed power line and warned that the cables might be live.
#ENTERGYNOLA: Our crews are encountering damage as a result of Hurricane Zeta. There is no way to know if a downed line or any other damaged electrical equipment is energized or not, so if you encounter any damaged equipment, keep your distance & call 1-800-9OUTAGE (800-968-8243) pic.twitter.com/arJhW8CMv3
— The City Of New Orleans (@CityOfNOLA) October 29, 2020
In Mississippi, Biloxi Police Chief John Miller told WLOX, a CNN affiliate, that the body of a person was found in Broadwater Marina and that the death is believed to be related to the cyclone.
The cause of death was not disclosed at the time.
Louisiana’s Lafourche, St. Bernard and Terrebonne districts issued curfews for Wednesday night, according to local authorities.
Officials from the Jefferson and Terrebonne districts had issued mandatory evacuation orders prior to the hurricane for coastal areas and locations outside of major levees. In New Orleans, voluntary evacuations were called for similar areas.
Louisiana is still recovering from the damage caused by the recent hurricanes. About 3,600 evacuees remain displaced weeks after Laura and Delta caused extensive destruction, according to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
Most of the evacuees have been displaced since August by Hurricane Laura and have gone to six hotels in New Orleans, the Governor’s Office said.
Edwards said more than 1,500 National Guard members have been activated and more than 5,000 technicians are ready to begin power recovery and restoration efforts Thursday morning.
“It’s going to be a rough night for Louisiana, particularly in the southeast. I’m sure we are well prepared for this, ”Edwards said.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he asked residents to finish storm preparations quickly and warned that even the central part of the state could see tropical storm winds.
“I urge everyone to quickly finish your preparations this afternoon and stay off the roads tonight, if possible,” Ivey said. “Zeta is gaining strength and will undoubtedly strike a blow at our state, and we must all be prepared. Stay safe”.
The National Weather Service in Mobile, Alabama, said Thursday on Facebook that he had received reports, through Clarke County emergency officials, of significant damage throughout the county. Structural damage. Destroyed ambulance building. Broken windows in several houses and businesses. Numerous trees in houses and cars. Communications and the Internet out, “he published.
Before turning its way to the coast of the United States, Zeta hit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula Monday night as a Category 1 hurricane.
Zeta is the twenty-seventh tropical cyclone of the Atlantic hurricane season. This year he is close to tying the record for most cyclones in a season. There were 28 in 2005, including 15 hurricanes.
– CNN’s Amara Walker contributed to this report.
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