Hurricane Nate makes landfall as a Category 1 storm near the mouth of the Mississippi River, with winds up to 85 miles per hour. For the 8 a.m. advisory, Nate was a Tropical Storm with winds of 45 mph with gusts up to 85 mph, moving NNE at 23 mph.
Hurricane warnings for New Orleans, which had prompted a curfew in the city, were downgraded to tropical storm warnings and the curfew was lifted. A storm surge warning remains in effect for Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Tammany and lower St. Bernard parishes, and Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties in Mississippi.
Hurricane winds are expected along the Gulf coast Saturday night, with tropical storm conditions extending into Sunday.
"We are taking the potential impacts of Tropical Storm Nate seriously and mobilizing all of the state's emergency preparedness and response mechanisms for a full readiness should this storm severely impact our state", Edwards said in a statement. The strongest winds are expected to occur primarily to the east of the track of the center.
Gulf residents from the Louisiana coast to Georgia need to take actions now to protect property and life. Nate's center will make a second landfall along the coast of MS later Saturday.
Approaching Mexican resorts, the cyclone intensified, he was given the first category according to the classification of hurricanes.
The storm has already caused oil companies to evacuate workers at 66 production platforms and five rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the US Government.
In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant on Friday declared a state of emergency in several southern counties in preparation for the storm. Rain began falling on the region Saturday and forecasters called for 3 to 6 inches with as much as 10 inches in isolated places.
Fortner expects two to three inches of rain in the Charlotte area Sunday. Winds may gust past 100 miles per hour near Mobile during the height of the storm later this weekend.
The NHC discontinued all watches and warnings associated with the storm.
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