Nate transformed into a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds as high as 90 mph. Previously, Tropical Storm Nate had triggered hurricane warnings and watches in parts of the United States, as it grows stronger while moving over the northwest Caribbean. Nate currently has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. States such as Florida and Louisiana have been preparing for Nate to make landfall this weekend, possibly as a hurricane.
Nate has already reportedly caused chaos in the Caribbean and Central America. The storm hit Costa Rica hard on Thursday, causing major flooding, destruction and property damage. Meanwhile, Nicaragua was hit hard with torrential rains. The death toll in Central America for Nate has increased to 22, as it moves northward, with the potential to strike the U.S. mainland as a hurricane.
On Thursday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 29 counties as Nate draws closer.
“Tropical Storm Nate is headed north toward our state and Florida must be prepared,” said Scott in the release. “I have declared a state of emergency for 29 counties in Florida to make certain that state, federal and local governments are able to work together and ensure resources are dispersed to local communities. By declaring an emergency in these counties, we can also ensure that there is no hindrance in the transportation of supplies and assets.”
Tropical Storm Nate 2017: Forecast, Map & Path
National Hurricane Center
Forecasters are predicting that Nate will grow into a hurricane and hit the Gulf Coast this weekend. This would be the third hurricane to hit the United States in six weeks, following Harvey and Irma.
On Thursday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards followed suit with the governor of Florida, and declared a state of emergency, but this time it’s for the entire state. Edwards informed the public that 1,300 national guard personal are being mobilized and 15 are heading off to New Orleans to check on the pumping system.
“We do anticipate a direct hit in Louisiana,” Edwards said in a statement obtained by the AP. “The bottom line for people is: You need to be where you want to be and in the posture you want to be by dark on Saturday.”
A voluntary evacuation notice has been issued by officials in Grande Isle, a barrier island south of New Orleans.
— Jonathan Erdman (@wxjerdman) October 6, 2017
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has instructed citizens to stock up on at least three days worth of supplies.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has also issued a state of emergency on Thursday. According to the AP, this order has been issued to free up personnel and resources in case responders have to be dispatched for any storm-related activity.
Offshore oil rig platforms will need to be evacuated ahead of the storm, according to a a release from the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement on Thursday. Six out of 737 platforms have already been evacuated, while one moveable rig was positioned out of Nate’s path.
A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for metropolitan New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, and from west of Grand Isle to Morgan City Louisiana. Meanwhile, a Hurricane Warning has been issued from Grand Isle Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border.