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CNN  — 

With fierce sideways rain pelting their homes and lashing winds tearing at their roofs – or the tarps covering the holes in the roofs from a previous storm – hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana and southeast Texas waited out the fury of Hurricane Delta in the dark on Friday night.

Power was out in more than 453,000 homes and businesses, according to tracking website poweroutage.us, as the Category 2 storm roared ashore with winds approaching 100 mph. The storm has since weakened to a Category 1 as it moved inland.

Conditions along the coast had deteriorated rapidly as the storm approached and forecasters said the storm will weaken rapidly as it moves inland. But first, residents will have to deal with several hours of dangerous conditions, including life-threatening storm surge, said CNN meteorologist Tom Sater.

The center of Delta made landfall a little more than 10 miles from where deadly Hurricane Laura slammed into the coast in August. While Delta is not as powerful as Laura – which left much damage that still hasn’t been fixed – it does have a broader wind field, Sater said.

CNN’s Martin Savidge, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, said just after Delta made landfall that the rain was incessant and the wind increased dramatically.

Thousands of blue tarps that had been covering roofs damaged by Laura were blowing through the city. Debris piled up on road sides was being sent like missiles through the air.

“We’re right in the thick of it,” Mayor Nic Hunter told CNN. “It’s intense.”

He said early reports indicated flooding would be the biggest concern.

For residents who did not evacuate, who only got their power back last week, the lights were out again.


Millions under flash flood watches

Among the dangers was flooding near the shoreline.

“The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location (Creole, Louisiana), where the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves,” the National Hurricane Center said.

A water level gauge in Freshwater Canal Locks, Louisiana, located in southern Vermilion Parish nearly 50 miles south of Abbeville, Louisiana, reported a storm surge of 7 feet over ground level, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

Water that high is considered major flooding, according to the agency.

Rain from Hurricane Delta pours on Lafayette, Louisiana, on Friday, on October 9.