Hurricane Nate Weakens to Tropical Depression
Nate, the hurricane that barreled into the U.S. coast along the Gulf of Mexico, weakened into a tropical depression on Sunday as it moved inland across the southern part of the country.
The storm came ashore Saturday packing sustained winds of 140 kilometers an hour, but steadily diminished in strength as it moved across land, its winds dropping to 55 kilometers an hour. The storm is expected to become post-tropical by Monday or Tuesday.
The storm left flooding and power outages in its wake, but the southern U.S. was spared the kind of catastrophic damage that hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria had wreaked on several states and Caribbean islands in recent weeks.
However, Nate killed at least 22 people in Central America.
The city of New Orleans, flooded by Katrina in 2005, had been bracing for the onset of this storm, but the city was been spared a direct hit. Hurricane and tropical storm warnings for New Orleans have been discontinued.
Nate made U.S. landfall twice while it was still a hurricane, early Sunday near Biloxi, Mississippi and on Saturday near the mouth of the Mississippi River on the southeastern Louisiana coast.
Nate’s center will continue to move inland across the Deep South, Tennessee Valley and the central Appalachian Mountains through Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Major shipping ports across the central U.S. Gulf Coast were closed Saturday as the storm intensified amid expected storm surges of up to nine feet.
States of emergency were declared in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Officials issued evacuation orders in low-lying areas of those states and announced shelters were available for anyone who needed them.
President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration allowing federal aid to be made available to help mitigate the storm’s impact.