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Winds lash palm trees after the passage of Hurricane Delta, in Cancun, Quintana Roo state, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi are preparing for Hurricane Delta, after the Category 2 storm made landfall on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula before heading toward the Gulf of Mexico — where it's regaining strength, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday night.

The big picture: The governors of Alabama and Louisiana declared states of emergency Tuesday ahead of the "extremely dangerous" storm's arrival, expected on Friday. Mississippi declared a state of emergency on Wednesday. Texas could also see see tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rains, the NHC said.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • The storm was downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane before it hit Mexico, where no deaths were reported. But there were power outages, downed trees and broken windows as Delta triggered floods across several Caribbean coastal cities and towns, the New York Times notes.
  • Delta was strengthening while moving over the south-central Gulf Of Mexico late Wednesday, the NHC said.

What to expect: "Life-threatening storm surge and damaging winds" were "increasingly likely" along parts of the Northern Gulf Coast from Friday, the hurricane center said.

Of note: This is the sixth storm this hurricane season that residents along Louisiana's coast have braced for, per AP.

  • "This season has been relentless," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. "Prepare for the worst. Pray for the best."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the storm.

Go deeper

Dec 24, 2020 - Health

Mexico becomes first Latin American country to vaccinate against COVID

A nurse was the first person in Mexico to receive the vcaccine. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty

Mexico became the first Latin American country to begin coronavirus vaccinations, amid a surge in cases, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The serum arrives as Mexico's hospitals reach a breaking point. The country tallies over 1.3 million COVID-19 cases and 120,000 deaths, per John Hopkins University data, though actual numbers are believed to be much higher.

21 mins ago - Health

Popular independent COVID tracker officially ends daily updates

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer group of data analysts, researchers, and journalists brought together by The Atlantic, published its final daily update on Monday — the one-year anniversary of its founding.

Why it matters: The project quickly became a vital resource for news media, academic researchers, and everyday Americans to track COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the absence of reliable and public data from the federal government.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Energy and climate move closer to center stage on Capitol Hill

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The imminent enactment of Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package creates space for lawmakers and the White House to craft infrastructure plans with big climate and energy-related provisions.

Why it matters: President Biden, during the campaign, vowed to make low-carbon energy, climate-resilient infrastructure and transportation projects a big focus of an economic recovery package. And the Texas power crisis could give fresh momentum to investments in grid modernization.