Southeast Louisiana residents have only today and tomorrow morning to prepare for Hurricane Zeta, Edwards says

Gov. John Bel Edwards
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (Photo by Wes Muller/LA Illuminator).

Southeast Louisiana residents have only today and tomorrow morning to prepare for Hurricane Zeta’s Wednesday afternoon landfall, Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

Tropical Storm Zeta strengthened into a hurricane Monday and is expected to hit the Gulf Coast Wednesday as a Category 1 storm somewhere between Southeast Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Edwards said he’s thankful that Hurricane Zeta seems to be a fast-moving hurricane, meaning the storm will move quickly in and out of the state. Zeta is projected to move at around 20 MPH or faster once it makes landfall, he said.

“That’s one of the reasons we don’t think there’ll be as much rainfall in the area,” Edwards said. “However, there will be considerable wind and potential for wind damage.”

Edwards said they expect wind speeds to peak in the lower Terrebonne Parish to St. Bernard Parish area of Southwest Louisiana. The Greater New Orleans area is projected to take the hardest hit.

“I would remind everybody that one third of the time, a hurricane makes landfall completely outside the cone,” Edwards said. “There’s a lot of Southeast Louisiana that really needs to be really mindful, really diligent and really needs to be weather aware.”

Grand Isle and areas of Lafourche parish, Plaquemines parish and Terrebonne parish are all under mandatory evacuation. Orleans parish is under voluntary evacuation orders, as of Oct. 27 afternoon.

“Tune in and pay close attention to your local officials, to your emergency preparedness, your parish presidents and so forth and heed their guidance when it comes to everything storm related,” Edwards said. “And that certainly includes evacuations.”