Tropical Storm Nate Moves Toward the Gulf Coast; Emergencies Declared in Four States


October 6, 2017

Flooding fears in New Orleans; will pumps for draining the city work?


Via Weather Underground:

Projected path of Tropical Storm Nate. NOAA


As the eventual path of Tropical Storm Nate became clearer, officials along the Gulf Coast warned residents to prepare and not take the storm lightly.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency for six counties in the southern portion of the state Friday afternoon. The declaration also covers any other counties impacted by the storm.

State officials said they plan to open 11 shelters for evacuees and will run buses for residents who are unable to drive.

Dozens of offshore oil and gas platforms and drilling rigs in the Gulf were evacuated Friday ahead of the storm, the Associated Press reports. 

At Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, the Air Force Reserve's 403rd Wing announced it would relocate aircraft to bases in Texas and Arkansas because of the storm, according to an announcement made Friday afternoon.

In Louisiana, evacuation orders were expanded Friday as Nate drew closer to the state. In Jefferson Parish, mandatory evacuations were ordered in Lafitte, according to WWL-TV.

"We do anticipate a direct hit in Louisiana," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press. "The bottom line for people is: You need to be where you want to be and in the posture you want to be by dark on Saturday."

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on Thursday. He announced 1,300 National Guard troops are being mobilized and 15 are heading to New Orleans to monitor the pumping system. A flood in early August revealed the pump issues across the Big Easy.

On Thursday, city officials met to discuss the status of the drainage systems. Repairs have been made, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported, but not all of the turbine generators are fully operational yet.

"Since early August, we have made substantial progress," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters Thursday.

Evacuations were ordered in part of St. Bernard Parish located outside the levee protection system on Thursday, the AP reported.

Officials in Grand Isle, a barrier island south of New Orleans, issued a voluntary evacuation for residents. Other voluntary evacuations were issued for parts of Lafourche and St. John parishes, WWL-TV also said.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged residents to make a plan and stock up on at least three days' worth of supplies, according to a release. He said the city is working with local, federal and state partners to identify the risks and vulnerabilities of the city and determine how to keep residents safe.

The city has almost 40 boats and more than 20 high-water vehicles and other rescue supplies staged at fire and police stations, and four high-water vehicles and two boats that the Emergency Medical Services headquarters, the release stated. The New Orleans Police Department has placed 146 barricades in flood-prone areas to keep motorists from driving into areas with high water.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Thursday for 29 counties in response to the storm.

"Tropical Storm Nate is headed north toward our state and Florida must be prepared," said Scott in the release. "I have declared a state of emergency for 29 counties in Florida to make certain that state, federal and local governments are able to work together and ensure resources are dispersed to local communities. By declaring an emergency in these counties, we can also ensure that there is no hindrance in the transportation of supplies and assets."

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey also declared a state of emergency Thursday in order to free up personnel and resources in case responders need to be dispatched for any storm-related activity, the AP reported.


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