Hurricane Delta, a powerful Category 3 storm, is forecast to make landfall Friday evening near Lake Charles, Louisiana, just six weeks after Hurricane Laura struck the same area.
It would mark the first time on record that a major hurricane hit the same location twice in one season.
Delta was churning through the Gulf of Mexico toward the Louisiana coast packing maximum sustained winds of 120 mph on Friday morning.
It is expected to move ashore by Friday evening, bringing a life-threatening storm surge of up to 11 feet.
“The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Six million people from Louisiana to Mississippi and western Tennessee were under flash flood watches Friday morning.
Delta’s sights were set on southwestern Louisiana around Lake Charles, just 14 miles east of where Hurricane Laura struck in late August.
Lake Charles is in the heart of a part of the state known as Cajun country, a historically French-influenced area.
Local residents told NBC News people there are weary of powerful hurricanes this season.
“Emotionally, I think everybody is just battered and worn down right now,” one Louisiana resident told NBC News.
Hurricane Laura ripped roofs off many homes and cut trailers in half. About 20 percent of homes in that area still have blue tarps as temporary roofs after that storm.
Strong waves and high winds from Delta had already begun along the coast Friday morning, and forecasters expect these to intensify throughout the day and into the evening.
By afternoon, the storm’s strongest winds — the wall around the core of the cyclone — is forecast to move ashore with wind gusts of up to 90 mph.