TROPICAL STORM ZETA UPDATE (Oct. 27 1pm)
Zeta made landfall last night on the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula and has weakened slightly, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, according to the latest update from the National Weather Service. The storm is expected to regain hurricane strength today and continue toward the Louisiana coastline. A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for Kenner and the metropolitan New Orleans area.
Zeta is about 45 miles east of Progreso, Mexico and 540 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. The storm is moving northwest at 14 mph, and forecasters expect a turn to the north tonight as Zeta picks up even more speed and heads to the southeast Louisiana/Mississippi coastline. Landfall is forecast late Wednesday night at or near hurricane intensity.
The main impacts for Kenner will be strong winds and heavy rain, with sustained tropical force winds Wednesday evening and throughout the night. Gusts to 70 mph are possible and downed trees and power lines could result. There will be periods of heavy rainfall as bands of rain move through the area. A total of 2 to 4 inches is expected beginning as early as tonight and continuing through Wednesday. Some areas will receive higher totals and some street flooding is possible. Some isolated, fast-developing tornadoes also are possible. The winds and rain in the area could be stronger if there are changes to the track of the storm, forecasters said.
Motorists should stay off the roads, if possible, during the storm. For those who must drive, operators of high profile vehicles and anyone driving on elevated roadways should take extra precautions because of the strong winds expected.
Mayor Zahn and the staff of the Emergency Management Department remind residents that today is the last full day to make preparations for this storm. Please clean out storm drains and secure any loose items outside. Bring in any Halloween decorations temporarily, although the forecast after the storm passes and through the weekend is for good weather with virtually no chance of rain. Have a storm plan in place and be sure to have emergency supplies and medications on hand for all members of the family, including pets. For a full list of hurricane preparation tips, go to http://www.kenner.la.us/pages/section_77_219.asp
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