Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday signed a state of emergency declaration as Hurricane Delta grew into a category four storm, threatening to strike the U.S. Gulf Coast just weeks after Hurricane Sally devastated Alabama’s Gulf Coast.
“As our coastal areas are still recovering from Hurricane Sally, another system, Hurricane Delta, is making its way toward the Gulf Coast and could potentially have a significant impact on Alabama,” Ivey said in a statement. “Therefore, I signed a State of Emergency to begin Alabama’s preparation process and position us to be able to declare a pre-landfall disaster declaration with FEMA. As residents along the Gulf Coast know all too well, these storms are unpredictable, and I strongly encourage everyone to take Hurricane Delta seriously. We are keeping a close eye on this approaching storm and we will continue providing all necessary updates.”
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Hurricane Delta could make landfall along Louisiana’s coast sometime Saturday with the hurricane’s sustained winds covering large swaths of lower Alabama. It is likely move further into Alabama as it continues.
Delta is the 25th named storm and the ninth hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, making this year one of the most active seasons in recent history. Delta is the earliest 25th named storm on record and the third major hurricane in the Atlantic this year.
The Hurricane Center on Tuesday morning warned of an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds from Hurricane Delta beginning Friday, especially along the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi, though its track could change.
The National Weather Service’s Mobile office on Tuesday forecasted that Hurricane Delta will turn north over the central Gulf and then northeast before making landfall late this week.
“However, even if Delta makes landfall well to our west, the local area will still see a threat for storm surge, dangerous surf/rip currents, heavy rain, strong winds, and isolated tornadoes. Please continue to check back for forecast updates,” the NWS office in Mobile said.
Homeowners and businesses are still piecing back together their properties and lives after Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores on Sept. 16.