Houston: Hurricane Zeta landed on the U.S. Gulf Coast on Wednesday afternoon as a Category 2 storm, bringing dangerous winds and surging ocean waves and causing outages as residents in southern United States are scrambling against potential flooding.
According to the National Hurricane Centre, Zeta weakened as it moved into south-eastern Mississippi, with sustained winds of 90 miles (145 km) per hour on Wednesday night.
Mayor of New Orleans LaToya Cantrell urged people in the hurricane-struck city to stay home and asked city officials to assess the damage from Zeta.
More than 630,000 customers were already without electricity in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, including about 350,000 in metro New Orleans, local media reported, adding more outages were feared overnight as the storm moves north-eastward across the Deep South.
“Although we have made it through, we have been damaged, we have been hit. So we are assessing the damage as best we can tonight,” Cantrell said.
Zeta almost reached Category 3 strength, which means sustained winds exceed 111 miles (about 178 km) per hour for a major hurricane.