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Delta strikes locally stronger than Laura; Weather Service says it needs “to study to see why”

If Hurricane Delta Friday afternoon and evening felt worse than Hurricane Laura six weeks ago, it’s because it was.

Hurricane Laura was a destructive Category 4, approaching Category 5, storm that hit Cameron, Louisiana, on Aug. 27.

It tied as the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall in Louisiana, as measured by maximum sustained winds.

Yet, it was Category 2 Delta that did more damage in Jefferson County, specifically Port Arthur and Mid-County, according to the National Weather Service.

“We had a hurricane warning out because we thought the track could go out a little further to the west,” Warning Coordination Meteorologist Roger Erickson told Port Arthur Newsmedia Saturday morning. “When the track did shift, we thought the winds would not be as strong as you guys got.”

Erickson said this is an example of a weather event “we have to study to see why we got such strong winds out across Southeast Texas.”

Jefferson County experienced wind gusts Friday up to hurricane force, which is 75 mph.

“You guys had the winds longer, and they were a little bit higher than Laura,” Erickson said.

The area also experienced 3 to 6 inches of rain, depending on the location.

Fortunately, Erickson said the forecast calls for Jefferson County to stay rain free for the next week.