Speed Reads

wild weather

Hurricane Delta, now a Category 3, heads toward Louisiana

Hurricane Delta has strengthened into a Category 3 storm, and forecasters say it may hit southwestern Louisiana as early as Friday.

As of Thursday afternoon, Delta is 345 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana, with 115 mph winds, the National Hurricane Center said. It could bring "life-threatening" storm surge of up to 11 feet and extreme winds to the Gulf Coast, and there are hurricane warnings in effect in Texas and Louisiana. On Wednesday, Delta brought heavy rain and wind to Cozumel and Cancun in Mexico, knocking down power lines and destroying some buildings.

Louisiana residents are preparing for the storm by boarding their windows and placing sandbags around their properties. On Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said it is "very clear that southwest Louisiana is going to get more of a punch from this than we would like to see, for sure, because we're still trying to recover from Hurricane Laura." Laura was a Category 4 hurricane that hit Louisiana in August, and was the strongest on record to make landfall in the state.