Hurricane Delta is moving closer to the southwestern Louisiana coast and its expected to make landfall tonight near the Cameron-Vermilion Parish line. National Weather Service Meteorologist Ben Schott warns the system is growing in size and a hurricane warning is up for as far east as St. Martin Parish and as far north as Alexandria.

“If you are anywhere basically from Lake Charles over to Lafayette up towards Alexandria understand that you are going to have some likelihood of significant wind damage,” said Schott.

Storm surge could be as high as eleven feet from Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Morgan City, including Vermilion Bay.

The current track has the storm hitting eastern Cameron Parish before curving to the northeast and passing near Alexandria before exiting through the Delta Parishes as a tropical storm. Schott says that means everyone in the state needs to pay attention.

“Just because you are not in the centerline of the storm, it is still possible for tree limbs to come down, some power outages in places, rotted, old trees being pushed over,” said Schott.

At 7 AM on Friday, Delta was 160 miles south of Cameron, with maximum sustained winds at 120 miles per hour and moving north at 12 miles per hour. It’s a Category 3 storm, but it’s expected to weaken as it moves towards the coast.

The center of the storm will be out of the state by Saturday afternoon so Schott says it will quickly move through.

“At that point, we will start to see improving conditions,” said Schott.

(Story written by Jeff Palermo/Louisiana Radio Network)