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LATEST: Mississippi Gulf Coast cleans up after Hurricane Nate

Officials are assessing storm damage to the manmade beach that lines much of Mississippi's coast.

Posted: Oct 10, 2017 4:04 AM

(WTVA/AP) - The Latest on Hurricane Nate:

1:30 p.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Sunday the federal government has issued an emergency declaration for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in the Panhandle following Hurricane Nate. A similar declaration was issued for the state of Alabama.

Scott said that will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide any needed disaster assistance in the two counties, although there are no reports of major damage or deaths in the area.

As of midday about 6,800 electric customers were without power in Florida, the governor said.

Nate was a Category 1 hurricane when it came ashore outside Biloxi, Mississippi, early Sunday, its second landfall after initially hitting southeastern Louisiana on Saturday evening. The storm was downgraded to a tropical depression by midday Sunday.

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12:30 p.m.

Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos have been given the all-clear to reopen while the region recovers from Hurricane Nate.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission said on its website that coastal casinos were allowed to re-open as of 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Closures were ordered Saturday as Nate approached.

The storm hit the coast with surges of up to 10 feet, and some casinos reported ground level flooding.

Nate was a Category 1 hurricane when it came ashore outside Biloxi early Sunday. By midday Sunday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami had downgraded Nate to a tropical depression.

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12:30 p.m.

Officials are assessing storm damage to the manmade beach that lines much of Mississippi's coast.

Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said the process of cleaning sand and debris from beachfront U.S. 90 will take at least until Monday.

Officials say a storm surge of up to 10 feet was received near the Alabama state line.

Damage to about 25 structures ha s been reported so far in Mississippi, and electricity was slowly being restored.

The total number of customer without power fell to about 32,000 at 11 a.m. Sunday, from nearly 50,000 at the height of the storm.

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11 a.m.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the hurricanes that have struck the U.S. and its territories this year - four so far - have "strained" resources.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long told ABC's "This Week" that some 85 percent of the agency's forces were deployed and still working on issues created by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and now Nate.

He said that "in regards to resources, of course we're strained" because "nearly 85 percent of my entire agency is deployed right now. We're still working massive issues in Harvey, Irma, as well as the issues in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and now this one."

Nate struck the U.S. as a Category 1 storm on Saturday but has since weakened substantially. The National Hurricane Center in Miami downgraded the storm to "tropical depression" strength and discontinued all hurricane and storm surge warnings and watches for the Gulf Coast.

Winds gusts of tropical storm force were expected over the Florida Panhandle and portions of Alabama and Georgia on Sunday, the hurricane center said. Water levels remained elevated along portions of the northern Gulf Coast, but were expected to gradually subside by midday Sunday.

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9:05 a.m.

Governor Phil Bryant's assessment following Hurricane Nate:

 9:00 a.m.

WTVA Tropical Weather Authority meteorologist Joel Young has been checking out damage along the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Nate:

 

 
User: Joel Young WTVA To: link

 

7:00 a.m.

Tropical Storm Nate is dumping heavy amounts of rain as it weakens and moves northward and away from the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Nate's maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 45 mph (75 kph) with higher gusts. The storm is expected to continue to rapidly weaken as it moves farther inland across the Deep South, Tennessee Valley and central Appalachian mountains. Through Monday, those areas can expect at least 3 to 6 inches of rain.

The hurricane center discontinued its storm surge warning for the area west of the Mississippi-Alabama border. A tropical storm warning was discontinued for the area west of the Alabama-Florida border.

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6:15 a.m.


More than 100,000 residents in Mississippi and Alabama are without power following the arrival of Nate.

Alabama Power Co. said about 59,000 customers lost their electricity in the state. About 53,000 of those were in the Mobile area.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said Mississippi Power and the state's electric power associations reported a total of about 48,000 customers without power early Sunday.

Nate made landfall in Mississippi early Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane and later weakened to a tropical storm.

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5:50 a.m.

A storm surge from Hurricane Nate pushed over the beachfront highway of U.S. 90 in Biloxi, flooding the parking structure of the Golden Nugget casino.

 

Water kept going several blocks deep into the area.

Pascagoula also reported that storm surge flooded downtown streets in that coastal city.

Thousands were without power in southern Mississippi.

Nate made landfall in Mississippi early Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane and later weakened to a tropical storm. The storm marks the first time a hurricane has made landfall in Mississippi since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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5:50 a.m.

Nate's rising water has flooded homes and cars on Alabama's coast and inundated at least one major thoroughfare in downtown Mobile.

Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier says he woke up around 3 a.m. Sunday to discover knee-deep water in his yard. Although some homes and cars on the island have flooded, Collier said he hadn't heard of any reports of residents needing to be rescued from the floodwaters. Collier also says the water levels appeared to be falling as dawn approached.

Storm surge also flooded Water Street in downtown Mobile and a ground-level causeway across Mobile Bay. Alabama Department of Transportation traffic cameras show water still standing on both those routes before dawn Sunday.

Gregory Robinson, a spokesman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, said there were no immediate reports of storm-related deaths.

Various Alabama utilities report more than 59,000 customers are without electricity.

Nate made landfall in Mississippi early Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane and later weakened to a tropical storm.

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3:55 a.m.


Nate has weakened to a tropical storm as it moves inland over Mississippi and Alabama.

The storm's maximum sustained winds decreased Sunday morning to near 70 mph (110 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to continue quickly weakening.

Earlier Sunday, Nate came ashore outside Biloxi, Mississippi, as a hurricane, the first the make a direct hit on the state since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Nate has brought stinging rain to the Gulf Coast and its powerful winds have pushed water onto roads. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported.

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1 a.m.

Hurricane Nate came ashore along Mississippi's coast outside Biloxi, the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm had maximum sustained winds early Sunday near 85 mph (140 kph) with weakening expected as it moves inland. It was centered about 5 miles (10 kilometers) north of Biloxi and moving north near at 20 mph (31 kph).

It was Nate's second landfall. Saturday night, the storm came ashore along a sparsely populated area in southeast Louisiana.

Nate brought stinging rain to the Gulf Coast and its powerful winds pushed water onto roads. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported.

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12:30 a.m.

From the National Hurricane Center:

National Weather Service radar data and surface observations indicate that Hurricane Nate has made landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi, around 1230 AM CDT with maximum winds of 85 mph.

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12:05 a.m.

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Saturday

11:45 p.m.

Some tweets showing what Hurricane Nate is doing to the Mississippi Gulf Coast:

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10:00 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says the northern eyewall of Nate is moving onshore on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  The actual position of the eye is listed as about 35 miles south-southwest of Biloxi.  Movement is to the north at 20 mph, meaning the eye should make landfall in the next hour or two. Top sustained winds are 85 mph.

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8:50 p.m.

WTVA Tropical Weather Authority meteorologist Joel Young is in Pascagoula:

 
User: Joel Young WTVA To: link

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8:40 p.m.

President Trump has approved an emergency declaration that will clear the way for federal help following Hurricane Nate.  Below is the announcement:

Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that an emergency exists in the State of Mississippi and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Nate beginning on October 6, 2017, and continuing.

The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.  This action will help alleviate the hardship and suffering that the emergency may inflict on the local population, and provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of George, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, and Stone.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide, at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding. 

Brock Long, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Manny J. Toro as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas. 

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7:00 p.m.

Hurricane Nate has made landfall at the mouth of the Mississippi River as a Category 1 storm with winds of 85 mph.

The National Hurricane Center said Saturday night that Nate is expected to make a second landfall along the coast of Mississippi on Saturday night and then pass over parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.

The storm has weakened slightly and is moving north a little slower at 20 mph (32 kph). Evacuations have been ordered along the central Gulf Coast and people are hunkering down as they wait on the storm.

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4:30 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Hurricane Nate is about 50 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River at Louisiana's southeastern tip. The storm is moving north-northwest toward the Gulf Coast at an unusually fast 23 mph (37 kph).

With maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 kph), Nate had not gained strength as of the center's 4 p.m. advisory. But forecasters said it might still reach Category 2 strength of 96 mph or more by the time it makes landfall.

Nate was on a track that could take it over or near the mouth of the Mississippi by around 7 p.m. on its way to a later landfall on the Louisiana or Mississippi coast.

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4:20 p.m.

From WTVA Tropical Weather Authority meteorologist Joel Young, who's on the Mississippi Gulf Coast:

 
User: Joel Young WTVA To: link

 From The Associated Press:

Officials in Alabama and Mississippi say their states are starting to see impacts from the fast-approaching Hurricane Nate.

On Alabama's Dauphin Island, Mayor Jeff Collier reports water had already begun washing over the road on the island's low-lying west end.

The city of Gulf Shores, meanwhile, has issued an evacuation order for beachfront properties, and shelters have been opened along the state's coastal counties.

In Mississippi, state Emergency Management Director Lee Smithson said 67 people were already in shelters in two coastal counties while strong winds and high tides were driving Gulf of Mexico waters over roads near the Louisiana state line.

And Gov. Phil Bryant says the state's National Guard has mobilized 75 soldiers and the Highway Patrol has moved an additional 60 state troopers into south Mississippi.

And from the Mississippi State Department of Health:

The Mississippi State Department of Health has opened the State 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.

Shelter admission is evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Those with health or medical conditions who require professional observation or care,
  • Those with chronic conditions who require assistance with daily living activities or skilled nursing care, but do not require hospitalization,
  • Those who need supervised medication dispensing or vital signs readings,
  • Those with physical, mental, or cognitive disabilities who cannot be housed in an evacuation shelter, or
  • Those with other disabilities who cannot be sheltered in an evacuation shelter.

The shelter provides 75 beds for those with medical needs. One caregiver may accompany the resident inside the shelter (unless the patient is a single mother, in which case children may accompany the patient inside the shelter.)

Patients will be triaged and assessed upon entry to the shelter. All residents should bring any prescribed medication or equipment needed for care if possible.

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4:15 p.m.

From the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources:

Marine Patrol officers with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources are responding to a sailboat stranded in Hancock County near the Silver Slipper Casino.

Chief Keith Davis said the Coast Guard refused to respond to the call but that two Marine Patrol officers are going to rescue the three people on the boat.

"We are sending two officers out there on a 25-foot Boston Whaler to rescue these people" Davis said. "But I want to make it clear that this is the last time we will do this until the storm has passed."

The call came in just as the first rain bands from Hurricane Nate moved onshore. The Category 1 hurricane likely will make landfall overnight Saturday. Local and state officials have asked that residents stay indoors until the hurricane has passed.

"We have to ensure the safety of first responders," Davis said. "Until conditions improve, we cannot put our officers in danger."

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4 p.m.

Pickens County, Alabama, remains under a tropical storm warning.

Lamar County, Alabama, and Marion County, Alabama, remain under a tropical storm watch.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the center of Hurricane Nate is about 140 miles south of Biloxi.  Top sustained winds remain at 90 mph.

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3:15 p.m.

Updated list of shelters in Mississippi:

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2:15 p.m.

A sampling of tweets concerning Hurricane Nate:

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1:45 p.m.

More than 40 percent of manned oil- and gas-producing platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have been evacuated, according to an update from the Interior Department, as Hurricane Nate churns toward the U.S. mainland.

The Department said Saturday that workers were evacuated from 312 of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf.

Crews also have been taken off 13 of 20 manned drilling rigs and other rigs have been moved out of the storm's path.

About one-fifth of U.S. oil is produced in the Gulf. The platforms mostly avoided Hurricane Harvey in late August.

Nate is speeding north-northwest over the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters say the hurricane is expected to make landfall Saturday night along the central U.S. Gulf Coast - likely with Category 2 strength.

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1 p.m.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Lee Smithson says Nate will be the worst hurricane to hit the state since Hurricane Katrina.

That was one of the things said during a Saturday afternoon news briefing with MEMA and with Governor Phil Bryant in Pascagoula.

 
User: Mississippi Emergency Management Agency To: link

 

The governor said swift water rescue boats are ready to be used if needed.  He added that Mississippi will handle the first 72 hours of the hurricane before the federal government is called upon to help.

Multiple curfews will go into effect in that region Saturday evening, and voluntary evacuations have been ordered for areas along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission has ordered the casinos on the coast to close at 5 p.m. Saturday.

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10:30 a.m.

Governor Phil Bryant and emergency managers will hold a 1 p.m. briefing in Pascagoula on the hurricane.

Walmarts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast will close at 5 p.m. in advance of the hurricane.

Gulfport police issued a statement about emergency response during the hurricane:

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10 a.m.

Here is what has come from the National Hurricane Center on its latest advisory concerning Hurricane Nate:

The hurricane is now expected to be a category 2 storm when it makes landfall (96-110 mph winds).

Current winds are 90 mph.

Hurricane conditions are expected on the Mississippi Gulf Coast this evening and tonight.

The eye of the hurricane will make landfall tonight.

The storm surge along the Mississippi Gulf Coast is expected to be 7-11 feet.

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9:40 a.m.

President Trump with a message for people ahead of Hurricane Nate:

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9:10 a.m.

Eleven shelters are opening in South Mississippi in advance of Hurricane Nate:

 Jackson County – 8:00 AM opening (people/no pets)
 East Jackson County Safe Room, 18413 Highway 613, Hurley, MS 39555

 Central Jackson County Community Safe Room,  5500 Ball Park Rd, Vancleave, MS 39565

 West Jackson County Safe Room, 13000 Walker Rd, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

 Harrison County – 2:00 PM opening (people/pets welcome)
 County Farm Rd Safe Room, 15035 County Farm Rd, Gulfport, MS 39503 (CLOSED)

 D’Iberville High School, 15625 Lamey Bridge Rd, Biloxi, MS 39532

 West Harrison High School, 10399 County Farm Rd, Gulfport, MS 39503

 Lobouy Safe Room, 9509 Lobuoy Rd, Pass Christian, MS 39571

 Saucier/Lizana Safe Room, 23771 Saucier-Lizana Rd, Saucier, MS 39574

Forrest County – 2:00 PM opening (people/no pets)
  Forrest County Safe Room, 946 Sullivan Drive, Hattiesburg, MS 39401

George County – 4:00 PM opening (people/no pets)
  Agricola Community Center, 3161 Cooks Corner Rd, Lucedale, MS 39452

  Benndale Community Center, 5207 Hwy 26 W, Lucedale, MS 3945

People going to shelters are advised to bring medicines, food items for those with dietary restrictions and clothing for more than one day 

People bringing pets to pet friendly shelters must bring animals in crates and bring a leash/collar, pet bedding, a week's supply of food/water, vaccination records, medications and bags for sanitary needs/kitty litter with enclosed container.

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8 a.m.

Hurricane Nate has gotten a little stronger as it races across the central Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Nate is moving toward the north-northwest at about 22 mph (35 kph) and the core of the hurricane is expected to make landfall Saturday night on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The center says a hurricane hunter aircraft found maximum sustained winds in the Category 1 storm have risen to near 85 mph (135 kph) with higher gusts. Forecasters say some more strengthening is possible before Nate makes landfall.

At 8 a.m. EDT Saturday, Nate was centered about 245 miles (395 kilometers) south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. A hurricane warning is in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border as well as for the New Orleans metro area and nearby Lake Pontchartrain.

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4:18 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Nate continues rapidly moving over the central Gulf of Mexico.

The Miami-based center says in its 4 a.m. CDT update that the storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (128.74 kph). The storm was located about 345 miles (555.2 kilometers) south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and was moving north-northwest at 22 mph (35 kph). Forecasters say Nate likely will reach the U.S. Gulf coast near New Orleans late Saturday.

and Louisiana ordered some people to evacuate coastal areas and barrier islands ahead of its expected landfall Saturday night or early Sunday. Evacuations began at some offshore oil platforms in the Gulf.

Mississippi's government said it would open 11 evacuation shelters in areas away from the immediate coast, with buses available for people who can't drive.

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1:15 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Nate is heading toward the central Gulf of Mexico and is likely to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast over the weekend.

The Miami-based center says the storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (128.74 kph) and was likely to strengthen over the Gulf of Mexico, reaching the U.S. Gulf coast near New Orleans late Saturday.

Louisiana and Mississippi officials declared states of state of emergency and Louisiana ordered some people to evacuate coastal areas and barrier islands ahead of its expected landfall Saturday night or early Sunday. Evacuations began at some offshore oil platforms in the Gulf.

Mississippi's government said it would open 11 evacuation shelters in areas away from the immediate coast, with buses available for people who can't drive.

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Friday

10:30 p.m.

Nate is no longer a tropical storm.

 

8 p.m.

Hurricane hunter planes have found Tropical Storm Nate growing stronger just off Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Nate has top sustained winds of 65 mph (105 kph) and is situated about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Cozumel, Mexico, on Friday night.

The tropical storm is moving north-northwest at 22 mph (35 kph). Forecasters expect it to turn north late Saturday, when it will approach the northern Gulf Coast of the U.S. Landfall is expected there Saturday night or Sunday.

The hurricane center says conditions are favorable for Nate to continue strengthening as it crosses the Gulf.

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5:50 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami has issued a hurricane warning for metropolitan New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.

The warning comes on top of one issued earlier Friday for the area between Gr and Isle, Louisiana, and the Alabama-Florida border.

The NHC says Tropical Storm Nate was growing in strength and was expected to be a hurricane by the time it reaches the U.S. late Saturday or early Sunday.

Nate barreled through Central America earlier in the week, claiming at least 21 lives. It is expected to pass near or over the coast of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula late Friday.

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1:45 p.m.

Dozens of offshore oil and gas platforms and drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have been evacuated as Tropical Storm Nate churns through warm waters on a high-speed path toward the Gulf Coast.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a news release that workers had been evacuated from 66 production platforms as of late Friday morning. That's nearly 9 percent of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf.

The bureau also said five rigs currently operating in the Gulf also had been evacuated, while 11 other rigs were moved out of the storm 's path.

An estimated 71 percent of the Gulf's current oil production and 53 percent of its natural gas production has been "shut-in," or temporarily halted, due to the storm.

Offshore facilities will be inspected for damage once the storm passes.

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12:30 p.m.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is declaring a state of emergency in Mississippi's six southernmost counties in advance of the arrival of what's expected to be Hurricane Nate late Saturday.

State officials said at a briefing Friday in Gulfport that Nate's main dangers will be a potential for 10 feet (3 meters) of storm-surge in low-lying areas and high winds that could damage mobile homes.

Officials say they will open 11 evacuation shelters in areas away from the immediate coast, and that buses can transport people who can't drive.

The state's 12 coastal casinos say they are monitoring the situation, but don't plan complete shutdowns. A car show that attracted thousands of visitor s is being curtailed.

The storm battered Central America with rain this week, killing at least 21 people.

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11 a.m.

A hurricane warning has been issued for a stretch of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says residents in those areas should brace for possible storm surges amid the expected strengthening of Tropical Storm Nate. The storm battered Central America with rain this week, killing at least 21 people.

The center says the storm is likely to strengthen Friday over the northwestern Caribbean Sea before a possible near-hurricane-strength hit on the Cancun region at the tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Forecasters warn that the storm, after crossing open water, could then smash into the northern rim of the U.S. Gulf Coast as a hurricane.

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8:30 A.M.

Damage caused by Tropical Storm Nate has prompted Costa Rican officials to postpone a World Cup qualifying soccer match between that country and Honduras, which had been scheduled for Friday night.

The president of the Costa Rican Football Federation says the game will now be played Saturday afternoon in San Jose, the Costa Rican capital.

The storm killed at least seven people across Costa Rica.

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This story corrects item on offshore evacuations to reflect that both oil and gas production platforms are being evacuated, not just oil platforms.

 

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press

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