Category 3 Hurricane Delta Heading for Gulf Communities Still Recovering from Laura Aftermath

Rains from Hurricane Delta began hitting the Texas and Louisiana coasts Friday morning, marking the beginnings of what is predicted to be a “life-threatening” storm.

Delta first made landfall in Mexico earlier this week as a Category 2 storm but it has since strengthened to a Category 3, with maximum sustained winds of almost 120 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“Preparations for the arrival of Hurricane #Delta need to be rushed to completion, with tropical-storm-force winds expected to reach the coast in the next couple of hours, making preparations dangerous or impossible to complete,” the NHC tweeted early Friday.

In another update around the same time, the NHC warned that the hurricane is expected to bring “Life-Threatening Storm Surge to Portions of the Northern Gulf Coast Later Today,” with parts of Louisiana's coastline predicted to see up to 11 feet of water.

The new storm comes just over a month after the Gulf Coast was battered by Hurricane Laura in August.

"It is very clear that Southwest Louisiana is going to get more of a punch from this than we would like to see, for sure, because we're still trying to recover from Hurricane Laura," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a Thursday briefing, according to CBS News.

Louisiana resident Leona Boullion told KPRC that though her home was not damaged in Laura, she’s worried about how it will fare in the latest storm.

“I'm packing up to leave again,” Boullion said. “I'm just hoping that I have something to come back to.”

Delta marks the 25th named storm of the historic 2020 hurricane season, breaking the previous record for the 25th storm by more than a month, according to USA Today. At one point in September, forecasters were tracking five storms in the Atlantic at once.

Many experts have attributed the more frequent and intense storms to climate change, which can lead to rapid intensification, the slowing down of hurricanes and increased rainfall.

“Our confidence continues to grow that storms have become stronger, and it is linked to climate change and they will continue to get stronger as the world continues to warm,” Jim Kossin, a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Wisconsin, told The Washington Post in August.

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