Hurricane Nate is now a Category 1 storm and is gaining more strength as it barrels towards the US Gulf Coast, according to National Hurricane Center.
It is learned that Nate is now less than 500 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving rapidly north-northwest about 22 miles per hour.
It is been reported that the maximum sustained winds have increased to 75 miles per hour, which makes it a Category 1 hurricane.
New Orleans Mitch Landrieu said his city is preparing for the hurricane, declaring a state of emergency.
A decade ago Hurricane Katrina devastated parts of New Orleans.
A state of emergency is also declared in Mississippi. Louisiana officials ordered an evacuation of the coastal areas in advance of expected landfall on Saturday night or early Sunday.
Nate could raise sea levels by 1.2 to 2.1 meters from the Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border, according to US National Hurricane Center.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency and mobilized 1,300 National Guard troops, with 15 headed to New Orleans to monitor the fragile pumping system there.
Edwards urged residents to be ready for the expected landfall in the southeast Louisana.
Hurricane Nate could bring 3 to 6 inches of rainfall, with locally higher amounts, along with the Gulf Coast this weekend. It also would bring 2 to 4 inches of rain in the Mid-Atlantic.
It is learned that Hurricane Nate has already caused deadly flooding in much of Central America. It has killed at least 23 people as it passed through Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras as a tropical storm.
Nicaragua’s vice president Rosario Murillo said that at least 11 lives have been died due to the storm and some were still missing.
There were seven deaths in Costa Rica and flooding drove at least 5,000 residents to emergency shelters while Honduras’ firefighter Oscar Triminio said there were dead died due to the storm.