Americas News

Nate weakens to a tropical depression after making second landfall

NOAA GOES-16 satellite image of Tropical Storm Nate as it passes near Central America on October 6, 2017

Tropical Depression Nate made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River as a Category 1 hurricane Saturday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center. A second landfall was made early Sunday morning near Biloxi, MS.

The storm has since weakened to a tropical depression with 35 mph winds as it moved further inland.

Flooding and tornado concerns

Widespread rainfall of 3 to 6 inches (5 to 15 cm) is expected in the central Gulf Coast states, east of the Mississippi River. Those amounts could also be seen in the eastern Tennessee Valley and the southern Appalachians. Some localized areas hit by the storm could possibly see up to 10 inches (25 cm).

Isolated tornadoes are possible today in areas from the Florida Pandandle and eastern Alabama across western and northern Georgia.

Preparations underway

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Friday that while there is no need to panic, “there is reason to prepare.” Landrieu also said 108 out of 120 of the city’s pumps are working, and members of the National Guard have been deployed to monitor them. New Orleans’ pumping and drainage system gained attention recently as Hurricane Harvey moved inland; a number of the city’s pumps to drain water out to the gulf were inoperable, reducing the overall capacity of the system.

Areas along the coast have issued curfews for Saturday night, including the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama.

Some low-lying areas along the coast are under mandatory evacuation orders.

In the U.S., plans are already under way to evacuate Air Force Reserve’s 403rd Wing aircraft out of the estimated impact areas of Nate.

 

300 Gulf of Mexico offshore oil platforms were evacuated, with 92 percent of oil output and three percent of refining capacity curtailed as of Saturday.

Pensacola and Mobile, Alabama’s airports are both closed until at least Sunday, with Pensacola’s airport not expected to reopen until at least Monday.

Delta is also evaluating expected conditions in Atlanta, the airline’s main hub.

“Winds are expected to be strong at times and may exceed operational limits.”

Delta, in a press release

Deadly impacts on Central America

Nate claimed at least 22 lives as it slammed Central America with torrential rains on Thursday. The storm killed at least 11 people in Nicaragua, eight in Costa Rica, two in Honduras and one in El Salvador, according to local authorities. Dozens more are still missing.

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