Hurricane Delta leaves one dead in Louisiana and brings tornado threat to Carolinas

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An 86-year-old man in St. Martin Parish died after a fire started as he was fueling a generator in a shed, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference Sunday.

Remnants of the storm spawned at least two tornadoes in north and central Georgia Saturday, injuring two people, according to the National Weather Service.

More than 400,000 households and businesses were in the dark Sunday morning after Hurricane Delta, which hammered Louisiana, weakened to a post-tropical cyclone and headed across the Southeast.

Most of the customers without electricity, about 310,000 of them, were in Louisiana, where the hurricane made landfall Friday, according to Sunday afternoon estimates from More than 50,000 customers in Texas were without power, while Mississippi reported almost 13,000 outages.

Almost 8,000 were without power in Georgia and South Carolina, where Delta was expected to dump rain Sunday before moving up the East Coast.

In Lilburn, Georgia, a train derailed after heavy rain overnight. Firefighters found the train on its side, with 38 cars derailed, some of them on fire. The locomotive’s engineer and conductor were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services.

One of the Georgia tornadoes was an EF1 with winds between 87 and 90 miles an hour that struck near Covington, about 35 miles east of Atlanta, and injured two people, according to the National Weather Service. It damaged a homeless shelter, displacing 30 people, the city’s emergency management director, Jody Nolan, told CNN.

The other was an EF0 that hit Pike County, some 51 miles south of Atlanta.

Iyana Sells, 9, plays on a debris-lined street Saturday after Hurricane Delta swept through Lake Charles.

Delta still had 25 mph winds as it passed about 60 miles south of Nashville late Sunday morning. It was expected to weaken significantly by early Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Northeast Georgia and the western portion of Virginia and the Carolinas could see up to 6 inches of rain, creating flash flooding risks across the region, the weather service said. The Central Appalachians and southern New Jersey could get drenched as well, forecasters said.

Tornadoes are possible across the Carolinas on Sunday, the weather service said. Flash flooding is possible from north Georgia to southern Virginia.

Still recovering from Laura, Lake Charles hit again

As Delta moved away from Louisiana, it left parts of the southwestern corner of the state with 17 inches of rain.

“Even if it wasn’t quite as powerful as Hurricane Laura, it was much bigger,” Edwards said Saturday. “Obviously, this was a very serious, very large and powerful storm that produced significant amounts of damage.”

Delta left a trail of “hazards like flooded roads, downed power lines and displaced wildlife” across the state, Edwards tweeted. He urged residents to remain vigilant.

Structures sit in floodwaters Saturday in Creole, Louisiana.

More than a hundred roads and 35 bridges were closed, Edwards said Sunday, and traffic lights were out at many intersections.

Lake Charles, which faced the brunt of Hurricane Laura’s destruction, saw significant flooding after Delta passed through, and Delta’s flooding surpassed Laura’s, Mayor Nic Hunter said.

The city of 78,000 is still recovering from Laura’s 150-mph winds in August and now must deal with the double whammy of wind and flood damage, the mayor said, adding that Delta forced more residents to evacuate than did Laura.

Highways out of Lake Charles were packed as people fled Delta, and about 7,000 residents were still displaced from Laura when Delta hit, he said.

“Already we’re picking up the pieces, but we have quite a road ahead of us. There’s a lot of homes that were damaged from Laura, and now it’s just adding insult to injury,” the governor said Saturday.

More than 9,000 people are still in shelters in the state, Edwards said, but the vast majority — 8,230 — are evacuees from Hurricane Laura.

In Texas, a utility company said it could take up to a week to restore power to customers along the state’s southeastern border.

Delta sets records

Hurricane Delta was the 25th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
It hit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday before making landfall with 100-mph winds near Creole, Louisiana, not far from where Laura made landfall less than two months ago.
With Delta, five hurricanes have made landfall in the US this year — the most since 2005 — and 10 named storms have hit this this year in the continental US — the most since nine landfalls were recorded in 1916.

CNN’s Haley Brink, Alta Spells, Michael Guy, Ray Sanchez, Melissa Alonso, Joe Sutton and Gene Norman contributed to this report.

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