Authorities ramped up evacuations, airlines cancelled flights and flood gates slammed shut as the National Hurricane Center forecast the strengthening storm would reach hurricane status on Saturday.
Authorities warned of heavy rain and possible tornadoes throughout Saturday as major storm Barry buffeted Louisiana, though there were few indications of widespread flooding.
Delta, about 250 miles (400 km) south of Cameron, Louisiana with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour (195 km/h) at present, could slowly weaken as it approaches the northern Gulf coast later on Friday.
The incident comes amid fresh debate over US gun controls, stoked by an incident last week where a gunman shot eight people dead and injured several others at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis before taking his own life.
The two-engine Piper Cheyenne crashed in the city of Lafayette about a mile from the regional airport where the flight began, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro said.
More than 70 million Americans have cast ballots in the US presidential election, more than half the total turnout of the 2016 election with one week to go until Election Day, according to a Tuesday tally from the US Elections Project.
The shooting Friday night was captured on video, and the state ACLU condemned what it described as a "horrific and deadly incident of police violence against a Black person.” Both the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center quickly called for an investigation.
Louisiana's Governor John Bel Edwards confirmed at least 10 people had died in his state, half from using carbon monoxide-producing portable generators indoors in the aftermath of the storm making landfall Thursday.
Television images showed heavy rain lashing the coastal city of Lake Charles shortly after the NHC said the eye of the storm made landfall at around 1:00am local time (0600 GMT).
Hurricane Ida-battered Louisiana residents and area businesses, who have endured almost a week without electricity as President Joe Biden walked the streets of a hardhit Louisiana neighbourhood and told local residents, "I know you're hurting, I know you're hurting.”