Residents in south Louisiana braced to relive a nightmare Friday as rain bands from an approaching Hurricane Delta began soaking the same area that was badly battered by a deadly Hurricane Laura six weeks ago.
The city of Lake Charles was already a landscape of towering debris piles still uncollected after Laura.
Blue-tarped roofs still stretched as far as the eye could see Friday.
Streets were lined with sawed-up trees, moldy mattresses and box springs and duct work and other wreckage of destroyed or badly damaged buildings.
Officials feared Delta could turn the small mountains of trash lining the streets into deadly projectiles.
"I stayed during Hurricane Laura too. I just put it in the Lord's hands," said 79-year-old Ernest Jack, pointing skyward.
He was in his Lake Charles house with a blue-tarped roof.
He had gathered food, plenty of water and had covered his windows to protect against flying debris during Delta.
Delta, the latest in a recent flurry of rapidly intensifying Atlantic hurricanes that scientists largely blame on global warming, appeared destined to set records at landfall.
It would be the tenth named storm to hit the continental United State this year, surpassing the number that hit in 1916, according to Colorado State University researcher Phil Klotzbach.
Delta would also be the first Greek-alphabet-named hurricane to hit the continental U.S. And as the fourth hurricane or tropical storm to hit Louisiana in a year, it would tie a 2002 record, Klotzbach said.
Forecasters said the 25th named storm of an unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season would likely crash ashore Friday evening somewhere on southwest Louisiana's coast.
The question was whether Delta would remain at devastating Category 3 strength, with top winds of 120 mph (195 kph) early Friday, or drop just before landfall to a still extremely dangerous Category 2 storm.
Either way, Delta was such a large hurricane that the storm surge risk remained high even if it became less intense just before striking land, the National Hurricane Center said.