Tropical Storm Nate turns deadly, heads toward US and Mexico
6:56 AM, Oct 6, 2017
9:21 AM, Oct 6, 2017
After barreling portions of Central America, Tropical Storm Nate is expected to reach the US Gulf Coast over the weekend as a hurricane.
The storm has killed at least 22 people in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras, where the storm has caused widespread flash flooding and mudslides, officials said.
Nate is forecast to gain force as it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula late Friday and turn into a Category 1 hurricane when it makes landfall in the US Gulf Coast on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said.
The center said the storm has sustained winds of 45 mph and is moving northwest at 12 mph.
Parts of the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastlines are under hurricane and tropical storm watches. The storm could drop 3 to 6 inches of rain and up to 12 inches in some areas, the National Weather Service said.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared a state of emergency for the city on Thursday and advised residents to stay put over the weekend.
"There is no need to panic. Be ready and prepare. Get a plan. Prepare to protect your personal property," Landrieu tweeted.
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.