Hurricane Zeta raged early Wednesday evening in southeast Louisiana as a category 2 storm on the high seas. What does high-profile mean? Zeta struck the mainland with wind speeds of 110 mph, and it would have been a Category 3 storm with wind speeds of 115 mph.
Oil platforms and buoys in the Gulf of Mexico register wind speeds and waves and send the data back to managers and meteorologists. A platform south of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico showed wind speeds near the Zeta eye wall of 150 miles per hour and waves of more than 50 feet in height. To put this into context: A Category 5 hurricane would begin with wind speeds of 156 mph or more.
Here is a tweet from Fox10 News meteorologist Jennifer Lambers showing the video of Zeta’s platform several hours before landing.
Watch these waves of hurricane #Zeta on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. This particular oil rig is located south of Louisiana and was located near the eye wall of Zeta. Wind gusts of over 150 miles per hour and waves of over 50 feet were recorded!
ð¸: Brian Stout pic.twitter.com/yF8D4gKaJo
– Jennifer Lambers â (@jnlamberswx) October 28, 2020
The National Hurricane Center announced on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. CT that Zeta’s eye wall had finally reached land after crossing the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and then the swampy areas of southeast Louisiana.
The southeastern part of the state is deep, and the storm surge, combined with rain, is expected to bring heavy flooding to the area. New Orleans is actually below sea level and is always prone to flooding during heavy rains and hurricanes. The eye wall of the storm reached New Orleans at 5:45 p.m. CT, and the waves of Lake Pontchartrain crashed over the lake wall that protects the city.
By 5:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, there were reports that at least 150,000 Entergy customers in southern Louisiana were without power. Boats were also seen drifting along the main roads.
Sheriff Webre just sent me this video of LA 1 south of the dyke system in Golden Meadow. Yes, that is a boat on the roadway. #Zeta pic.twitter.com/bydOrAaocN
– Brennan Matherne (@BrennanMatherne) October 28, 2020
The storm is expected to quickly sweep over the southeasternmost part of Louisiana and into southern Mississippi cities such as Gulfport, Biloxi, Bay St. Louis, Christian and other cities wiped out by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
Katrina also brought massive flooding to New Orleans after the levees broke.
The NHC said hurricane conditions are expected from New Orleans to Dauphin Island in Alabama, west of Mobile Bay. The NHC said the areas had to expect “strong, damaging winds” that could cause tree damage and power outages in areas along the path of Zeta.
Zeta is the 11th named storm to hit the United States this season, and it is the fifth named storm to hit Louisiana in this hurricane season, which officially ends on November 30.
The named storms hitting Louisiana this hurricane season are
Tropical Storm Cristobal – June 7
He landed in southeastern Louisiana and then traveled to the northeastern part of the state
Hurricane Laura – August 27
Cameron and Lake Charles hit as a devastating Cat 4 storm
Tropical Storm Marco – August 25
Downgraded to a tropical storm before landing in southeast Louisiana
Hurricane Delta – October 9
hit Jennings as a category 2 storm
Hurricane Zeta – October 28
hit Port Fourchon as a Category 2 storm and then moved to New Orleans
Zeta became the 27th named storm in the Atlantic basin this year, which is a record for the earliest 27th named storm ever. Although the hurricane season begins on June 1 each year, the Atlantic was active early on, with three named storms in May.