Tracking the Tropics: Zeta moves northeast after battering Gulf Coast

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Zeta is heading northeast Thursday morning after blowing through Louisiana and Mississippi on Wednesday, destroying buildings and knocking out power to thousands. At least two deaths were reported.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm has continued to produce damaging winds across parts of the southeastern United States.

The storm made landfall Wednesday afternoon near Cocodrie, Louisiana as a strong Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds fore moving into the New Orleans area and onto neighboring Mississippi.

It was downgraded to a tropical storm about an hour after reaching Alabama.

At 8 a.m. ET Thursday, Zeta had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 175 miles from the storm’s center. It was about 50 miles west of Asheville, North Carolina, moving northeast at 39 mph.

Zeta is expected to reach the mid-Atlantic states on Thursday afternoon, then emerge in the Atlantic Thursday night.

The central Appalachians, Mid-Atlantic and lower to middle Ohio Valley regions could see 1 to 3 inches of rain. The NHC says water levels along the central Gulf Coast should subside throughout the day.

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