Hurricane Delta roars ashore on storm-battered US southern coast

Hurricane Delta made landfall on the Louisiana coast Friday evening, packing ferocious winds and a “life-threatening” storm surge — driving out residents still rebuilding from a devastating storm less than two months ago.

Delta became the 10th named storm of the year to make US landfall, a record, meteorologists said.

It roared ashore near Creole, Louisiana as a Category 2 storm on a scale of five, with winds of 100 miles per hour (155 kilometers per hour), the National Hurricane Center said.

“Damaging winds and a life-threatening storm surge continue over portions of southern Louisiana,” the Miami-based center said, adding that one monitoring site was reporting storm surge of eight feet (2.4 meters) above ground.

In Lake Charles, a city in southwest Louisiana that was hit hard by Hurricane Laura on August 20 and is now in the path of Delta, the streets were deserted Friday as a steady rain fell.

The city is still in disarray from the more powerful Laura, which was a Category 4 and ripped roofs off houses and uprooted trees. Streets are still littered with debris.

“I don’t even know if we’ll have a house when we come back,” said Kimberly Hester, who lives in Lake Charles.

“I just pray to God every night we can at least have a house to come home to.”

Cristy Olmsted, 41, said she had decided to ride out Delta because evacuating is too stressful. She put boards up to protect her windows and door and said her main worry was Delta kicking up debris loosened by the last hurricane.

“The last one was the worst one, this one cannot be worse,” said Olmsted, who works for an electrical utility and lives with her boyfriend.

Arthur Durham, 56, was finishing covering windows at his home with plywood as protection against flying debris.

“I stayed for the last one. I’m pretty well prepared. I have a generator back-up, tools, equipment… I’m pretty self-sufficient,” he told AFP, adding: “I’m used to this.” (AFP)