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Delta now a tropical storm; nearly 500K Louisiana homes lose power

Nearly a half-million Louisiana homes were reportedly without electrical power early Saturday morning, hours after Hurricane Delta made landfall in the Gulf Coast state.

As of 11:30 p.m. CT Friday, nearly 465,000 Louisiana households were affected by the outage, according to poweroutage.us. The number rose to more than 480,000 households shortly after midnight.

By 1 a.m. CT Saturday, the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm, according to an advisory from the National Hurricane Center. At that time, the storm was located 15 miles east-southeast of Alexandria, La., with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, the NHS advisory said.

By 4 a.m. CT Saturday, the tropical storm was about 45 miles south-southeast of Monroe, La., with maximum sustained winds down to 45 mph, the NHS said in an advisory.

Delta had hit land around 6 p.m. CT Friday near Creole, La., with heavy rainfall and strong winds in a region already battered by multiple hurricanes this year.

On Friday morning, Delta was still off the Louisiana coast when it was downgraded from a Category 3 hurricane — with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph — to a Category 2, with sustained winds of 115 mph, the NHC reported.

Just over an hour after making landfall, the storm weakened to a Category 1 as it continued to move inland.

Delta had sustained winds near 100 mph when it made landfall as a life-threatening storm surge. 

Winds were so strong that shingles atop the eight-room boutique L’Banca Albergo Hotel in Lake Arthur were pulled off. 

“I probably don’t have a shingle left on the top of this hotel,” owner Roberta Palermo told The Associated Press.

She said the electricity was out and, across the street, she could see pieces of metal coming off the roof of a 100-year-old building. Unsecured trash cans

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