Tropical Storm Zeta caused power outages and disruptions at early polling stations across Georgia on Thursday, October 29. The storm, which made landfall in Louisiana as a category 2 hurricane on Wednesday, October 28, brought high winds and heavy rain to Georgia, leaving one million people without power. All polling stations in Douglas County were forced to close, although two have since reopened and a further two are expected to reopen on Friday, October 30, the last day of early voting in the state. Similar disruptions were reported in Cobb and Fulton Counties, as well as in 16 metro-Atlanta counties. Power outages were also reported south of Macon, although it is unclear whether polling sites were affected. Energy companies are working to restore power to affected areas.
Significant disruptions have been reported along the Gulf coast, with at least six people reported dead and millions without power.
Continued disruptions cannot be ruled out in the aftermath of Zeta, which has since weakened into a post-tropical storm and is heading into the mid-Atlantic.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.
Organized tropical activity tends to peak in August and September. Storms tend to flood sections of highways and cause dirt-based roads to become temporarily impassable. More organized systems, depending on intensity, can prove catastrophic in terms of tidal surge, wind damage, flooding, and mudslides.
Those in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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