Hurricane Zeta will likely make landfall later Wednesday on the U.S. Gulf Coast as either a Category 1 or Category 2 storm. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), a “life-threatening storm surge is expected along portions of the northern Gulf Coast … with the highest inundation occurring between Port Fourchon, LA, and Dauphin Island, AL.”
A hurricane warning is in effect in portions of southeast Louisiana and southern Alabama; a tropical storm warning is in place across a stretch from southern Alabama, southwest to northeast Mississippi, into northeast Georgia. The Weather Channel reports that widespread power outages are possible from southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi to a portion of northern Georgia. Some power outages are possible as far east as central and eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia. Zeta is currently 200 miles south-southwest of New Orleans.
According to the latest National Hurricane Center forecast, Zeta could still become as strong as a Category 2 hurricane when it nears the U.S. coast.
Previously, Hurricane Zeta hit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 1 storm. A statement by Governor Carlos Joaquín, provided to Travel Agent by the Mexican Caribbean, said that no serious damages or deaths have been reported in the state. The beaches remained closed on Monday due to intense rains and strong winds, as well as high sea tides and waves. Given that the hurricane was a Category 1 and then degraded to tropical storm, tourists were not required to leave their hotels and the state's airports were operational as of Monday. The state's labor activities and tourist services are now back to normal.