ALSO READHurricane Nate closes in on Mississippi, eyes second landfall Hurricane Irma will devastate part of US: Federal agency Hurricane Harvey threatens Texas' booming oil, energy exports After Irma, battered Caribbean islands brace for Category-4 Hurricane Maria Nate nears coast as region faces $1 billion damage
Tropical Storm Nate swept ashore in Mississippi on Sunday with strong winds rattling the doors of Biloxi’s many casinos and lashing rain flooding the gambling floors and surrounding highways, although the fast-moving former hurricane was expected to rapidly weaken as it moved inland. The fourth major storm to strike the United States in less than two months, Nate killed at least 30 people in Central America before entering the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and bearing down on the US South. It has also shut down most oil and gas production in the Gulf. Nate follows a succession of big Atlantic hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria which have devastated areas of the Caribbean and southern United States in the last two months. However, as maximum winds quickly diminished to 70 miles per hour (110 km per hour) after weakening to a tropical storm early on Sunday, Nate appeared to lack the devastating punch of its predecessors. The storm’s centre will move inland over Mississippi and across the deep south, Tennessee Valley and Central Appalachian Mountains through Monday, the National Hurricane Center said. Before then storm surges of up to 11 feet (3.4 m) on the Mississippi-Alabama border were possible, the NHC said. Nate made its initial landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi river on Saturday evening and then made a second landfall early on Sunday near Boloxi, Mississippi, where its 46,000 residents were warned that the highest storm surge could reach 11 to 12 feet.