The Category 2 hurricane made landfall along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday afternoon, authorities revealed. The extremely strong storm was only 1 mile per hour short of qualifying as a Category 3.
At least six people have died as the 27th storm of the Atlantic hurricane season rushed inland.
The first victim, a 55-year-old man, was electrocuted by a low-hanging power line in the Gert Town area.
Speaking on WWL television, Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson insisted officials were “asking everyone to remain at home.”
He said: “We do not want you to travel the streets. There are wires that are down, live wires, as well as trees.”
“It’s very, very challenging for anybody to get around, so we’re encouraging you please to stay at home or stay in place.”
Zeta started off as a Category 2 storm and weakened over time, developing into a post-tropical cyclone by Thursday afternoon.
The powerful hurricane was reaching winds of 50 mph as of 5 pm ET Thursday.
At that point it was edging closer to the southern end of New Jersey.
However, the National Hurricane Centre expects the storm to move out over the Western Atlantic on Thursday evening.
Louisiana Gov John Bel Edwards said alternative polling stations would be created if the current sites become unavailable due to Hurricane Zeta.
He designated an election task force to ensure polling stations are up and running.
The task force will also evaluate the damage taken by existing polling stations.
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Gov Edwards said polling stations without electricity will take priority when restoring the power.
He said: “As we get closer to Tuesday, obviously, a determination is going to have to be made whether they’re going to be able to power those locations back up or not and that has to be done in advance of Tuesday, far enough so that if it can’t happen, that the voters who would typically vote at those locations can be given instructions to vote elsewhere.”
In a message shared on his Twitter account Gov Edwards encouraged those who were finding the storm difficult with to reach out for help.
He wrote: “This year has been difficult for our state as we continue to navigate a pandemic and multiple hurricanes.
“I urge anyone who is struggling to take advantage of these free mental health resources.
“It’s okay to ask for help. We’ll get through this together, Louisiana.”
Today, Gov Edwards toured the damaged areas as professionals worked to restore the electricity lost in the power cut.
In a Twitter statement, he wrote: “Today, I toured damage from yet another storm that hit our coast. This year has been tough, but Louisianans are tougher.
“Thank you to our first responders, electrical workers and partners at every level of government who are working to help our people recover.”