Hurricane Nate made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River around 7:00 p.m. CDT Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane. The center of the storm will move back over open water before making landfall again. along the coast of Mississippi on Saturday night. Gulf conditions are favorable for Nate, which could strengthen to a Category 2 before making landfall again somewhere along the coast of Mississippi.
Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and other emergency services are cranking up for the expected landfall. Vulnerable, low-lying coastal areas, such as New Orleans; Mobile, Alabama; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Pensacola, Florida, should treat Hurricane Nate as a serious threat for flooding from heavy rain and storm surge. Out of 120 main line pumps servicing New Orleans, 108 are said to be operational at this time.
MDOT began preparing response efforts Thursday. “What many people don’t realize is that MDOT crews are considered first responders when severe weather, including tropical storms and hurricanes, move through the state,” said Melinda McGrath, MDOT executive director. “MDOT is on the scene immediately after the storm passes to remove debris from affected roadways and clear a path for emergency, law enforcement and disaster relief personnel.” For more information on road conditions from MDOT dial 511, check out MdotTraffic.com, or see special hurricane preparedness information.
Beginning at 4 p.m. today in response to Hurricane Nate, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) opened a Medical Needs Shelter, located on Coy Avenue in Wiggins. This facility is a shelter of last resort for those people whose medical needs cannot be accommodated in an evacuation shelter. The shelter was built to FEMA 361 standards and should withstand winds up to 200 miles per hour. The shelter contains a negative pressure infectious disease isolation room – the first of its kind in any medical needs shelter in the nation. For more information about this special needs shelter: Special Needs Shelter
“Rainfall totals of 4-8 inches will occur near and to the east of the center of Nate with localized amounts near or over 12 inches,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Miller said. Ocean water pushed ahead from Nate, in combination with tides, could produce 6-12 feet of water along some coastal areas.
All Mississippi Coast Casinos are closing at 5 p.m. according to the MS Gaming Commission.
The State Emergency Operations Center has activated the Mississippi Joint Information Center for all media and public inquiries regarding Hurricane Nate. The JIC can be reached by calling 1-866-920-6362.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is posting real-time updates to its social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter.
Nate is predicted to move from southeast Mississippi through Alabama and northward into eastern Tennessee as the weekend progresses.
Readers are encouraged to share this information with friends and family who may be in the path of the hurricane.