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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Zeta (all times CDT):
MIAMI — The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Zeta has crashed ashore in storm-weary Louisiana as a powerful Category 2 storm, striking the latest blow of an extraordinarily busy Atlantic tropical storm season.
The Miami-based center says a hurricane hunter aircraft confirmed at 4 p.m. Wednesday that the menacing storm had made landfall near Cocodrie, Louisiana.
The fast-moving storm came ashore on the southern Louisiana coastline in a region of the Gulf Coast that has already been in the crosshairs of earlier storms this season.
The storms this season have so far veered away from New Orleans, but this time the low-lying city appeared squarely in the hurricane’s path. Officials have said the biggest concern with this storm is the high winds but have also said that the storm is moving fast. That means it won’t linger and dump huge amounts of rain.
NEW ORLEANS — Heavy rains are pelting New Orleans and the wind has begun to pick up as Hurricane Zeta nears the south Louisiana coast.
The city’s touristy French Quarter was largely deserted as stronger winds were lashing the coast. Some power outages were reported in New Orleans, a low-lying city beside the Mississippi River.
David Camardelle is the mayor of Grand Isle, a barrier island along the Louisiana coast. He told broadcaster WDSU on Wednesday that everyone is “bunkered down” as they were starting to get “some serious wind.” But he said so far they haven’t seen big storm surges.
In a 3 p.m. update, the U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm has top sustained winds of 110 mph (about 175 kph). It was just 1 mph (1.6 kph) shy of becoming a powerful…