In Irma's Footsteps: Life-Threatening Hurricane Nate Heads Toward US Gulf Coast

In Irma's Footsteps: Life-Threatening Hurricane Nate Heads Toward US Gulf Coast

Storm surge is a big concern along the coast, and will likely be 6-9 feet, and as high as 10 feet, on the Mobile Bay region and the barrier islands, lasting through Sunday afternoon, Stefkovich said.

President Trump late Friday granted Edwards' request for a pre-disaster emergency declaration for 17 parishes, which allows the state to more easily access federal response resources if necessary.

The hurricane could spark a storm surge up to nine feet and warning are in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Alabama-Florida border.

After that, the NHC predicts the storm will make its U.S. landfall along the eastern Louisiana, Mississipi or Alabama coastlines.

Outer bands of the deadly hurricane were expected to batter the Gulf Coast starting in the evening, with the center of the storm expected to make landfall overnight, said U.S. National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen. High near 81. Up to an inch of rain is possible.

Another powerful storm, Hurricane Maria, ripped through the Caribbean in late September, devastating several islands, including Dominica and Puerto Rico. Gusts could reach 50-60 mph in northeast Alabama, the meteorologist said.

"Right now this storm should not bring us anything that we're not prepared to handle", Landrieu said Saturday. The New Orleans Police Department has placed 146 barricades in flood-prone areas to keep motorists from driving into areas with high water. "But the important thing is making sure our employees are doing what they need to do to be safe and hopefully we can accommodate some local residents". Although the storm dropped some heavy rains over the Mexican state of Veracruz, Franklin's effects were relatively moderate, and it was soon forgotten. 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).

Nate is the ninth hurricane to form in the Atlantic this season, which is the highest total since the infamous 2012 season featuring Hurricane Sandy. Since some of New Orleans is below sea level, its powered drainage system is essential to keeping the city dry.

New Orleans issued a mandatory curfew for Saturday from 6:00 pm (2300 GMT), and mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders were issued for certain low-lying areas.

Thousands were forced to evacuate their homes and Costa Rica's government declared a state of emergency. The platforms mostly avoided Hurricane Harvey in late August.

In Louisiana, Mr Edwards mobilised 1,300 National Guard troops, some headed to New Orleans to monitor the fragile pumping system there.

Waterside sections of New Orleans, outside the city's levee system, were under an evacuation order.

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

Oil operators shut-in: Oil and natural-gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico have been evacuating platforms and rigs ahead of Nate.

"Can't call anybody, not coming, so it is a good idea to leave for most people", one resident told Miller.