Weary residents of coastal Louisiana have begun cleaning up from wind and water damage inflicted by Hurricane Delta to their already storm-battered region, even as it weakened and moved northeast.
Delta made landfall near the town of Creole in Cameron Parish early on Friday evening as a category two hurricane, packing sustained winds of 160km/h.
Though not as powerful as August's Hurricane Laura, a category four storm that tore homes and businesses apart, Delta toppled trees and power poles, leaving hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast residents without power.
The storm weakened to a tropical depression as it moved inland to western Mississippi, according to the National Hurricane Center, but still carried heavy rains.
Sylvia Pastrano, 65, said the roof of her Lake Charles, Louisiana home leaked from Delta's rains after being initially damaged by Laura. She positioned three trash cans over her bed to catch the water.
"We were debating whether to leave or not but my husband has got orthopedic issues and I do too and we're just too exhausted to even get up and evacuate," Pastrano said. "Last night it was terrifying, the whistling and whistling."
Delta brought widespread flooding of streets and riverbanks, mostly in southwestern Louisiana, tracking the path of destruction left by Laura but causing damage over a larger swath of the Gulf Coast.
"Even if it wasn't quite as powerful as Hurricane Laura, it was much bigger," Governor John Bel Edwards told a briefing in Baton Rouge on Saturday.
About 3000 National Guard troops had been called up to distribute relief supplies, clear roads, maintain security and conduct search and rescue operations, the governor said.
While no deaths have so far been linked to Delta, Edwards said storm-related fatalities often occur in accidents such as falls, during clean-up operations, or from carbon monoxide poisoning from residents using home generators.
About 600,000 of the state's electric customers, 25 per cent of the total, were without power at noon, Edwards said. But restoration was progressing faster than it did after Laura because Delta's winds were less damaging to the infrastructure, he said.
Laura's winds damaged tens of thousands of homes, leaving roofs across the region dotted with blue tarpaulins. More than 6000 people were still living temporarily in hotels when Delta struck.
Australian Associated Press
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