Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards authorized 1,300 National Guard troops to mobilize ahead of the storm, and some will be in New Orleans to help the city monitor the pumps, he said.
With some parts of Florida still reeling from Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 29 counties and encouraged residents to get prepared in case Nate's forecast track changes. Evacuations could be called, he added.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared a state of emergency for his city on Thursday and advised residents to stay put over the weekend.
The city's unique drainage system has recently experienced critical deficiencies. Several drainage pumps failed during heavy rainstorms in August, leading to the flooding of several hundred properties. Of the city's 120 main drainage pumps, three major and nine smaller ones were offline Thursday, city records show.
Published Thursday, October 5, 2017
After battering portions of Central America, Tropical Storm Nate is expected to reach the US Gulf Coast this weekend as a hurricane.
The storm already has killed at least 22 people in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras, where it caused widespread flash flooding and mudslides, officials said.
Nate is forecast to gain force as it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula late Friday and strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by the time it makes landfall late Saturday or early Sunday along the US Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center said.
"It will still be fairly strong when it makes landfall, but it will be a quicker moving storm than the last few we have had," CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. "It's supposed to be in and out pretty quickly."
Parts of the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastlines were under hurricane, storm surge and tropical storm watches Friday. The storm could drop 3 to 6 inches of rain, with 12 inches possible in some areas, the hurricane center said.
Tropical storm Nate had maximum sustained winds of near 45 mph Friday morning and was moving north-northwest at 14 mph.
Tropical storm Nate Facts
Affected Area: 350 km.
Alert Level: Yellow