US states declare emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Nate

Elias Hubbard
Октября 8, 2017

The NHC said Nate will pass near or over the Mississippi River during the next few hours before making landfall along the coasts of southern Louisiana or Mississippi Saturday night.

The National Weather Service reported Saturday that Nate has set a record as the fastest recorded forward motion of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Alabama-Florida border.

In a statement, the City of Biloxi was warning its 46,000 residents that the highest storm surge would occur between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. and could reach 11 to 12 feet.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have killed more than 170 people after ravaging Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and other parts of the Caribbean.

States of emergency were declared in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama; officials announced evacuation orders in low-lying areas and the opening of shelters for anyone who needs them.

The President's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

Hurricane Nate could grow to a Category 2 Hurricane as it bears down on Mississippi's coastline, threatening to bring $4 billion in losses after killing at least 22 people in floods across Central America earlier this week and forcing crews off energy platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters say some more strengthening is possible before Nate makes landfall.

Storm surge warnings included the coast from Grand Isle to the Okaloosa/Walton county line in Florida and the northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency in six southernmost counties.

The storm has already been blamed for deaths in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras, officials said. "Nate is at our doorstep or will be soon", Reuters quoted New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu as saying.

The storm was sprinting toward the coast at 26 miles per hour, a pace Gov. John Bel Edwards said "is nearly unheard of" during his noon press conference.

"If we all stay informed, if we all stay alert, if we all stay prepared, ultimately, we will all be safe, which is our No. 1 priority", Landrieu said.

In Alabama, the Bankhead Tunnel - which passes under the Mobile River - was closed, with large doors and sandbags covering the entrances. It is possible power outages will occur well inland due to sustained winds of 40-60 miles per hour and higher gusts of 70-80 miles per hour (it should be noted, high wins will likely occur in Tennessee, too, especially in the higher terrain).

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