The remnants of Hurricane Zeta crossed over Delaware and into the Atlantic late Thursday, "but people across the South were still digging out from the powerful storm that killed six people," The Associated Press reported Friday morning. Power was out for as many as 2.6 million people across seven states at one point, and nearly 400,000 people in and around New Orleans were still without electricity on Friday.
Something like 80% of New Orleans is without power and many won't have lines repaired for 3-5 days. For context if you're not seeing this on the news, Zeta is the strongest hurricane in recorded history to have its eye directly pass over New Orleans. pic.twitter.com/4O6zx6wkcf
— Dylan Waguespack (@DylanMercury) October 29, 2020
Entergy New Orleans said the hope is that most customers would see their power restored over the weekend, but it may be intermittent for a while and some people won't get electricity back for days longer. "In Louisiana, getting power back to polling centers was a priority as was letting voters know quickly if there were any changes to locations come Tuesday," AP reports.
Zeta made landfall at Cocodrie, Louisiana, on Wednesday with winds just shy of Category 3 hurricane strength, the 27th named storm this year and the 11th to make landfall in the continental U.S., topping the single-season record of nine storms set in 1916. Zeta was also the most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. this late in the season since 1899, The New Orleans Advocate reports. One man was electrocuted in New Orleans, four people died in Alabama and Georgia when trees crashed on their houses, and a man drowned in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Southwestern Louisiana had already suffered through Hurricanes Delta and Laura this year, but "in a record-breaking hurricane season filled with near-misses for New Orleans, the city's number finally came up Wednesday," the Advocate notes. "If Zeta had an appealing quality, it was speed. The storm raced ashore and didn't linger, limiting potential wind damage and dropping far less rain than some hurricanes."