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Hurricane Nate kills 30, strengthens in Gulf

Hurricane Nate kills 30, strengthens in Gulf”

Three states in Hurricane Nate's northerly path - Louisiana, Alabama and MS - were expected to bear the brunt of the storm before it weakens as it moves inland. Some beachfront hotels and casinos were evacuated, and rain began falling on the region Saturday.

After hitting the Gulf Coast, the storm is likely to veer to the northeast and cut through Alabama, the state likely to be hit hardest. The U.S. National Hurricane Center warned that Nate could raise sea levels by 4 to 7 feet (1.2 to 2.1 meters) from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border. The deluge exposed system weaknesses - including the failure of some pumps and power-generating turbines - and caused homes and businesses to flood.

"We are prepared to keep everyone safe during this storm, and we will be enforcing the curfew", New Orleans police chief Michael Harrison said.

"Hurricane Nate is expected to bring life-threatening storm surges, strong winds and tornados that could reach across the Panhandle", Scott said. At a Lowe's hardware store in the St. Roch area of New Orleans, there were short lineups around midday and plentiful supplies of propane, generators and plywood.

It has weakened slightly and is moving north a little slower at 20 miles per hour (32 kph). Forecasters say it will make landfall within the next hour or two. Earlier Thursday she had said 15 people had died before later revising to say some of those were still counted as missing.

Thousands of people were evacuated and Costa Rica has declared a state of emergency.

By Saturday afternoon, as Nate's outer band pelted sheets of rain on the city, residents had filled 13,000 sandbags at a fire hall on Elysian Fields Drive, just one of five such sandbag depots in the city. In Honduras, there were three dead and three missing, according to Oscar Triminio, spokesman for the country's firefighters.

Hurricane Nate has brought strong winds, torrential rain and a threat of storm surges to the US Gulf Coast as it made landfall near the mouth of the MS river in Louisiana late on Saturday. Louisiana's governor said Nate is forecast to move quickly, rather than stall and drop tremendous amounts of rain on the state.



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