Hurricane Delta takes aim on the Gulf Coast, storm surge warning in effect

ABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO, EMILY SHAPIRO and MELISSA GRIFFIN, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Hurricane Delta is turning north toward the Louisiana coast where it’s expected to slam the shoreline on Friday.

Landfall is expected Friday evening near Cameron, Louisiana, which is the same area hit hard by Hurricane Laura in August.

Lake Charles, Louisiana, Mayor Nic Hunter said Thursday, “This is not a bad dream, it’s not a test run. These are the cards that we have been dealt.”

Lake Charles is in Calcasieu Parish, where mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

“We realize that not everyone has the financial wherewithal to just simply put money into a gas tank and go rent a hotel right now. And I know there’s a lot of people out there that are feeling very fatigued. But there are options,” Hunter said. “And the window of opportunity really is only today to evacuate.”

Delta is expected to be a Category 2 hurricane when it approaches the coast.

A hurricane warning has been issued for western and central Louisiana, including as far inland as Alexandria, Louisiana. A tropical storm warning was issued for New Orleans and for Galveston, Texas.

The biggest threat besides hurricane-force winds will be the storm surge that could get as high as 11 feet. A storm surge warning is in effect for Louisiana and Mississippi.

States of emergency have been declared in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The president has approved Louisiana’s federal emergency declaration.

Once Delta moves inland, heavy rain will move into central and northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and western Mississippi. Some areas could see six to 12 inches of rain in a matter of hours, causing flash flooding.

Heavy rain could also impact the Tennessee River Valley on Saturday. Up to three inches of rain is possible in Tennessee.

When Hurricane Delta makes landfall, it will break the record for most storms to make landfall in one season in the continental U.S.

The other nine named storms that made landfall this season were: Tropical Storm Bertha (South Carolina); Tropical Storm Cristobal (Louisiana); Tropical Storm Fay (New Jersey); Hurricane Hanna (Texas); Hurricane Isaias (North Carolina); Hurricane Laura (Louisiana); Tropical Storm Marco (Louisiana), Hurricane Sally (Alabama); and Tropical Storm Beta (Texas).

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