Hurricane Zeta Batters Louisiana, Killing Six People
LOUISIANA—November 6, 2020—Six people are dead and 2.1 million were without power after Hurricane Zeta charged into Louisiana as a fast-moving Category two storm last week, according to CNN. Zeta made landfall Thursday, October 29 in southeast Louisiana where it did catastrophic damage to Grand Isle in Jefferson Parish, breaching the levees in three places, according to the AP.
Zeta’s most damaging element was the wind, which topped out at 110 mph, shredding homes and downing trees and power lines. Power outages across seven states affected millions of people as the storm raced across the South. Zeta also packed heavy rain and up to 10 feet of storm surge, which caused flash flooding along coastal areas. In addition to widespread structural damage from wind, some bridges were damaged when vessels that broke loose in the storm slammed into them, according to CNN.
Six deaths have been attributed to Hurricane Zeta, according to CNN. In Georgia, three people were killed by trees falling onto their homes. A 55-year-old man in Louisiana was electrocuted by a downed power line. In Mississippi, a man drowned while filming the waves when fast-rising storm surge overtook him. An Alabama man also died when a tree fell onto his mobile home.
Hurricane Zeta, the 27th named storm of the season, is an historic storm on many fronts. It is the earliest 27th named storm on record and became the sixth hurricane to make landfall in the U.S., a number that has been seen only twice before, according to The Washington Post. Zeta is the 11th named storm to make landfall in the U.S., besting the previous 1916 record of nine storms. Zeta is also the fifth named storm to hit Louisiana in a single year, surpassing the 2005 record of four storms. As Louisiana’s third hurricane of 2020, Zeta ties the 1860 and 2005 records for the state’s most hurricane landfalls in a single year.
Hurricane Zeta came ashore as Louisiana is still recovering from other recent storms, including Hurricanes Laura and Delta. CNN reports that of the more than 3,000 evacuees currently sheltering in Louisiana, most have been displaced since Hurricane Laura roared into the state in August.