Man drowns in Biloxi during Hurricane Zeta

Tracking the Tropics

Dozens of boats trailered behind humvees are parked and ready to roll as Louisiana National Guardsmen gather in front of Jackson Barracks as the New Orleans area prepares for Hurricane Zeta on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. (Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)

Officials say a man drowned in Biloxi, Mississippi, after getting trapped in rising ocean water pushed ashore by Zeta.

Harrison County Coroner Brian Switzer says 58-year-old Leslie Richardson was at an old marina with another man Wednesday evening when the Gulf began to rise.

Switzer says Richardson called 911 and told a dispatcher the car was beginning to float so he and the other man were going to try to wade or swim to safety. The two made it as far as a tree and hung for safety as the wind and water raged. A military-style rescue truck wasn’t able to get through the floodwaters and Switzer says Richardson’s strength finally “just gave out.”

A person on a balcony at a nearby hotel spotted Richardson’s body floating in the flooded beachfront highway about two hours later and authorities were able to recover it once the weather calmed a little. Richardson’s acquaintance wasn’t badly injured.

It’s the third death that’s being blamed on Zeta as the storm races across the South after coming ashore in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane.

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