MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -- Coastal residents are left picking up the pieces once again, this time after Hurricane Zeta slammed into the Gulf Coast overnight before making a quick march northeast through the region early Thursday morning.

The storm first struck parts of Louisiana and Mississippi Wednesday evening as a Category 2 hurricane, with powerful winds with speeds up to 110 miles per hour sending objects flying.

Zeta knocked out power to at least 700,000 people across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

The strong gusts also whipped up strong waves along several coastal communities.

Officials say Zeta is being blamed for at least two deaths.

Biloxi police confirmed one death there, possibly by drowning.

And, in New Orleans, police say a 55-year-old man electrocuted by a downed power line.

The good news is that, after the frightening night with Zeta, the weather will improve with a cold front tracking east across our area today.

Clarke County in southwest Alabama suffered extensive damage as Zeta moved through the state. 

Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day released a statement overnight, reading in part, "We ask everyone to please stay at home and refrain from traveling until daylight. We have had major damage to structures, many many trees down, powerlines down, roofs blown off buildings downtown, and many many streets are not passable and will not be until after daylight."

Day added that, "It is going to be a long cleanup."

Meanwhile, Biloxi on the Mississippi coast took a pounding from Hurricane Zeta, with the storm surge pushing water into the streets. Many of the casinos there closed before the worst of Zeta hit.

The George County Emergency Management Agency says the county suffered extensive damage. All through the Lucedale area there are businesses and homes with structural damage and many downed trees.

Thousands along the Gulf Coast remained in the dark Thursday morning.

Alabama Power says outages are widespread, with about 163,000 without power in Mobile and surrounding areas at 4:30 a.m., and nearly 500,000 without service statewide.

All content © 2020, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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