slammed into the US Gulf
Coast for the second time in hours early today after leaving a trail of death and destruction in Central America.
Officials urged residents to evacuate some vulnerable areas before the storm first made landfall on the southeastern tip of Louisiana
on Saturday evening, and residents scrambled to make last-minute preparations ahead of the third hurricane to hit the region in less than two months.
Around 1:30 am (0530 GMT), the US National Hurricane Center
(NHC) said Nate struck again about eight kilometers west of Biloxi, Mississippi, where storm surges caused sea levels to rise dramatically.
But US President Donald Trump said federal officials were ready for the fast-moving storm, urging residents of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana
and Mississippi to "listen to your local authorities & be safe!"
The storm, a Category One hurricane on the five-point Saffir-Simpson
scale, with winds swirling at 140 kilometers per hour was heading north at about 20 miles per hour, the NHC
predicted Nate would pass over portions of several southern states through late today.
The center warned that "the combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline".
Governor Kay Ivey tweeted that she had asked Trump to make a disaster declaration "to ensure we have all possible resources in place to respond to #HurricaneNate."
Trump earlier issued an emergency declaration for Louisiana
and Mississippi allowing federal aid to be sent there to help mitigate the storm's impact.
New Orleans, which was ravaged in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, leaving 1,800 people dead in the region, appears to have largely escaped Nate's wrath.
The mayor's office lifted a mandatory curfew that had been imposed as a safety measure, saying the hurricane warning for the city was no longer in effect.
Multiple shelters had been opened for evacuees from low- lying areas, and officials urged residents to finish preparations before evening, including stocking up on several days' supply of food and water.
"I lived through Katrina and I know what that was like," said Jackie Daigre, 69, who was buying groceries in preparation for the hurricane at a busy Walmart store, where the shelves of bottled water were picked almost completely bare.
Officials said the recent hurricanes, devastating as they were, actually helped with preparations for Nate, since emergency supplies and assets deployed for the earlier storms were still in place.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)