Nate Prompts Emergency Declaration on Gulf Coast


By: Sean Breslin
Weather Underground

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.

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.”

(MORE: Deaths Confirmed in Central America from Nate’s Impacts)

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Thursday, according to the Associated Press. 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.

“We do anticipate a direct hit in Louisiana,” Edwards said in a statement obtained by the AP. “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.”

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.

Evacuations were ordered in part of St. Bernard Parish on Thursday, the AP reported.

Officials in Grand Isle, a barrier island south of New Orleans, issued a voluntary evacuation for residents.

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.

(MORE: Get the Latest Forecast for Nate)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey 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.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Lee Smithson said people living along the Gulf Coast should pay attention to reports from emergency officials and start making their own storm preparations.

On Thursday, a release from the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said the agency would evacuate platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the storm. Six of the 737 platforms in the Gulf were evacuated and one movable rig was taken out of the path of the storm.

 

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