KEY POINTS

  • Louisiana was in a state of emergency as the Gulf Coast prepared for Hurricane Delta
  • Residents along the Gulf Coast said they were tired of the busy 2020 storm season and were ready for it to be over
  • Oil platforms along the coast were being evacuated, driving oil prices up ahead of Delta's landfall

Hurricane and storm surge warnings were issued along the U.S. Gulf Coast Thursday as Hurricane Delta continued its march northward toward the U.S. and tired communities prepared to be hit by another storm.

As of 7 a.m. Thursday, Delta was past the Yucatan and in the open Gulf of Mexico far off the coast of eastern Mexico. It was moving northwest at 15 mph with winds averaging 100 mph, but is expected to begin turning northeastward before it makes landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

“Delta is expected to grow in size as it approaches the northern Gulf Coast, where life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are likely beginning Friday, particularly for portions of the Louisiana coast,” the National Hurricane Center said. “Storm Surge and Hurricane Warnings are in effect, and residents in these areas should follow advice given by local officials and rush preparedness actions to completion.”

As Delta nears the coast, storm-weary communities are battening down as they prepare for another one to make landfall as part of an already busy 2020 Atlantic storm season. Many residents in Louisiana said they were tired after all the storms and simply wanted the season to end.

“This has to be the worst year that I have experienced,” food truck owner Andrius Vitto told the Associated Press. “To see all this happening in one year — you know with the wildfires, with the hurricanes, the rain, all the other stuff in the news — COVID — It’s mind-boggling.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards already declared a state of emergency on Tuesday in preparation for the impending storm.

“Hurricane Delta is an incredibly dangerous storm that will bring heavy winds, rain and life-threatening flooding and storm surge to coastal Louisiana. Everyone in South Louisiana should pay close attention to the weather in the coming days and heed the advice and directions of their local officials,” Edwards said in a press release. “Now is the time to make preparations for Delta’s impacts.”

“We have seen an active hurricane season already, with a devastating hit in Southwest Louisiana from Hurricane Laura. It would be a mistake for anyone in Louisiana to let down their guard. Be prepared.”

Several energy operators are also evacuating oil platforms along Delta’s path in the Gulf of Mexico. In turn, oil prices rose to $40 a barrel while demand remains low amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“All told we are working at a very low demand level with massive refining capacity and huge inventory surpluses everywhere you care to look,” Cornerstone Macro economist Jan Stuart told Bloomberg. “That’s just not a good level for oil prices recovering to a deployable level.”

Hurricane Delta intensified into a Category 4 storm in the Caribbean and was headed towards Mexico
Hurricane Delta intensified into a Category 4 storm in the Caribbean and was headed towards Mexico NOAA/GOES / -
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