La. braces for possible arrival of Tropical Storm Delta as Gamma batters Mexico
MEXICO CITY — On Sunday Governor John Bel Edwards encouraged Louisiana's residents to keep a close eye on meteorological reports concerning two tropical systems that were south of the Gulf of Mexico.
Now is the time to prepare for whatever this tropical system may bring us. Continue to watch your local news for updates, heed instructions from local officials in the coming days and visit https://t.co/qGfYFDGzQd to check off your supply list. #lagov #lawx pic.twitter.com/58hceXm77p— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) October 5, 2020
The following morning, Tropical Storm Delta formed and appeared poised to become a powerful hurricane that would head towards the Gulf of Mexico and possibly make landfall in Louisiana by Friday.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gamma devastated the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas, killing at least six people.
The Associated Press reported that Gamma stalled just north of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Monday after lashing the resort-studded coast with near-hurricane force winds and forcing thousands from their homes.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Delta is forecast to become a hurricane with winds around 100 mph before making landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast around Friday.
Mexico’s civil defense agency said in a statement that four of the deaths blamed on Gamma, including two children, were in Chiapas, where a landslide on a mountainous slope buried their home. The other two deaths were in Tabasco state, where one person was dragged away by the water and another drowned.
Gamma, along with cold fronts, combined over the weekend to cause extreme rains in parts of the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas, affecting more than half a million people. The hardest-hit state was Tabasco, where more than 3,400 were evacuated to shelters, the Associated Press reports.
The storm came ashore Saturday near Tulum with maximum sustained winds of nearly 70 mph (110 kph) — 4 mph (9 kph short of hurricane force), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Thousands of tourists were affected in a resort area that only recently reopened after a pandemic shutdown: The state’s tourism department reported Friday on Twitter that more than 41,000 tourists were present in Quintana Roo, with hotels in Cancun and Cozumel already at more than 30% occupancy.
Mexican authorities continued to warn people in the Yucatan on Monday as Gamma stalled offshore. The hurricane center said early Monday that Gamma was about 170 miles (275 kms) northeast of Progreso, Mexico, and had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (95 kph). Forecasters predicted up to 8 more inches of rain in the states of Yucatan, Campeche and Tabasco, producing significant flash flooding.
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