Hurricane Delta floods the gulf coastal town of Sulphur, Louisiana.

Hurricane Delta floods the gulf coastal town of Sulphur, Louisiana.
More than 5 million people are under flash flood warnings across the lower Mississippi River Valley after Delta made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane and continued to drench the Southeast.

Delta, now a tropical storm, dropped over a foot of rain in Louisiana and its powerful winds pounded communities already ravaged by Hurricane Laura weeks ago. In its wake, it left nearly 730,000 homes and businesses along the Gulf Coast without power, according to poweroutage.us.

Flash flood emergencies were also issued following the heavy rain, with parts of southwest Louisiana receiving up to 17 inches of water. Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter, who rode out the storm in a downtown building, said the experience felt a little like "deja vu."



"We're all tired," he told CNN affiliate KPLC late Friday. "The sun will come out again. As we're in the thick of this right now, the main concern is human safety and human life."

For the rest of the southern Mississippi River Valley into the Tennessee Valley, heavy rain and flooding remains the main concern through Saturday night. Parts of the Southeast could see rainfall amounts of more than eight inches before the weekend is over.

floods
Tornadoes were also possible Saturday morning over parts of southern Louisiana and Mississippi and over Alabama, Tennessee and the western Florida Panhandle, the National Hurricane Center said.

Hunter said Friday the city was dealt a double-whammy, between Hurricane Laura's wind destruction and the floodwaters Delta could leave behind.

"Early reports are this is going to be more of a flooding event for us than Laura was," he told CNN Friday. Search and rescue operations were slated to begin when the winds died down, he said.

But the city's leader said he wasn't sure how many people stayed behind to ride out the storm. Highways out of Lake Charles were jam-packed as people evacuated ahead of the storm -- and another 7,000, according to Hunter's estimate, were still displaced since Laura.

"I'll take all the thoughts and prayers I can get right now," he said Friday.

About 10 miles west in Sulphur, Louisiana, one resident posted images of flooded streets and warned of fallen trees as well as debris that had "been strewn by the wind" and were now underwater.

"In short - Stay Home. Stay Safe," Kip Coltrin wrote on Facebook.

A historic storm

Hurricane Delta is the 25th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

It first hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday, bringing with it flooding and downed power lines before making its way to the US coast.

Hurricane Delta

Hurricane Delta in the Gulf of Mexico, Oct 9.
With winds nearing 100 mph, the storm made landfall Friday evening near Creole, Louisiana, just miles away from where the deadly Hurricane Laura slammed coastal communities weeks ago.

And this week's storm is a historic one: Delta was the fifth hurricane to make landfall in the US this year -- the most since 2005. It was also the 10th named storm to make landfall this year in the continental US -- the most in one year (after 1916, which saw nine landfalls).

CNN's Joe Sutton contributed to this report.