Trees on top of buses and cars. Roofs ripped off homes. Boats pushed onto the highway by surging seawater. Hundreds of thousands of people left in the dark. The remnants of Hurricane Zeta were far from land over the Atlantic on Friday, but people across the South were still digging out from the powerful storm that killed six people. The wind effects of Zeta, which came ashore in Cocodrie, Louisiana, and barreled northeast, were felt all the way from the Gulf Coast to southern New Jersey. At the height of the outages, as many as 2.6 million people were without power across seven states from Louisiana to Virginia, the AP reports. Zeta was the 27th named storm of a historically busy year, with more than a month left in the Atlantic hurricane season.
In Louisiana, one of the hardest hit areas was Grand Isle, a barrier island community south of New Orleans. Gov. John Bel Edwards called the damage there "catastrophic" and ordered the Louisiana National Guard to fly in soldiers to assist with search and rescue efforts. A man was electrocuted in New Orleans, and four people died in Alabama and Georgia when trees fell on homes, authorities said, including two people who were pinned to their bed. In Biloxi, Mississippi, a man drowned when he was trapped in rising seawater. "Oddly enough, it isn’t the storms that typically produce the most injuries and the fatalities," Edwards said. "It’s the cleanup efforts. It’s the use of generators. It’s the carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s the electrocution that comes from power lines. So, now is the time to be very, very cautious out there."
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