America’s Gulf Coast is expected to be battered with another hurricane this week as Tropical Storm Delta strengthens over the Caribbean — breaking yet another record in a historic year.
Delta, which is forecast to reach the Cayman Islands late Monday, is expected to become a hurricane by the time it hits Cuba Tuesday, bringing “significant flash flooding and mudslides,” the National Hurricane Center warned.
It will likely pack winds of at least 100 mph by the time it makes landfall along the Gulf Coast around Friday, the center warned.
“There is an increasing risk of dangerous storm surge, wind, and rainfall hazards along the coast from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle,” the hurricane center said.
Delta marks a grim new milestone for 2020 as the earliest-ever 25th Atlantic storm of any year, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
It arrives a full six weeks earlier than the previous record, set on Nov. 15, 2005, a year that ended with 28 tropical systems in the region.
Tropical Storm Gamma devastated Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Monday, causing at least six deaths and forcing thousands from their homes.
The storm came ashore Saturday near Tulum with maximum sustained winds of nearly 70 mph — 4 mph short of hurricane force, according to the US National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Mexico’s civil defense agency said in a statement that four of the deaths — including two children — were in Chiapas, where a landslide on a mountainous slope buried their home.
The other two deaths were in Tabasco state, where one person was washed away in raging waters and another drowned. More than 3,400 were also evacuated to shelters in the state.
Gamma battered resort areas that only recently reopened after the coronavirus lockdown. Tourism officials said more than 41,000 tourists were in Quintana Roo, with hotels in Cancun and Cozumel already at more than 30 percent occupancy.
With Post wires
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