Hurricane Nate makes U.S. landfall near mouth of Mississippi River

Hurricane Nate makes U.S. landfall near mouth of Mississippi River”

Nate will have rapid weakening today, but the tropical storm will bring heavy rain to MS and Alabama throughout the day.

The fast-moving storm averaged an unprecedented 45km/h as it sped north across the Gulf of Mexico after striking Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

The centre of the storm passed to the east of New Orleans on Saturday night, sparing the city its most ferocious winds and storm surge.

A state of emergency was declared in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and for more than two dozen counties in Florida, shipping ports have been closed and oil and gas platforms in the Gulf are being shut down.

At around 1:30 a.m. EST, the storm made landfall near Biloxi Mississippi about 5 hours after first hitting the coast about 5 hours earlier near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Storm surge threatened low-lying communities in southeast Louisiana, eastward to the Alabama fishing village of Bayou la Batre. Still, the streets were not almost as crowded as they typically are on a Saturday night. The three states have been mostly spared during this hectic hurricane season. A 7 PM curfew remains in effect for the metropolitan area of New Orleans.

Sean Stewart, checking on his father's sailboat at a Biloxi marina after daybreak, found another boat had sunk, its sail still fluttering in Nate's diminishing winds.

The National Weather Service said: "Wind and rain impacts will be confined to southeast MS with the greatest impacts along the Interstate 59 corridor and coastal areas".

"Your kids should be with you and ready". It will bring hurricane conditions to portions of the northern Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama. But Nate was expected to regain some strength and make a second landfall along the coast of MS to the east. You should be prepared for that power outage. Through Monday, Nate is expected to move through the deep South, the Tennessee Valley and central Appalachian Mountains. Heavy rain is falling north and west of the center, with 25-50mm (1-2 inches) expected along the lower Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Valley on Thanksgiving Monday.

Nate's center approaches the mouth of the Mississippi River, as tropical storm conditions spread onshore in southeastern Louisiana.

Residents in areas outside New Orleans' levee system were evacuated and the city was placed under a curfew from 7pm. Winds are up to 90 miles per hour. A Storm Surge Warning is issued for coastal areas when life-threatening inundation from storm surge is possible, generally within 36 hours.

"It is moving at an extremely fast rate", said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards at a briefing Saturday, "almost unheard of for a storm of this type".

Most of northwest Georgia remain under a Tropical Storm Watch as Nate heads toward shore, and a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the far northwestern counties of the state, including Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd and Walker counties.

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