Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency for Louisiana due to Tropical Storm Nate that may hit the state by this weekend.
On Friday morning, Oct. 6, Edwards issued a proclamation that extended the state of emergency from Oct. 4 to Nov. 2 “unless terminated sooner.”
According to the proclamation, the Sewage and Water Board of New Orlean’s power plant malfunctioned on Aug. 9 and was still in need of immediate, emergency repair. Generators that provide power for pumps to remove water from the city were inside that plant, it said.
“High water is already a problem in many southeast Louisiana parishes,” said the Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Jim Waskom, in a release. “High tides and easterly winds in recent days are impacting some areas ahead of the storm. Those conditions may worsen over the weekend.”
Tropical Storm Nate could reach the northern Gulf Coast by Saturday or Sunday, and could at that point have developed into a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said.
An interactive map of the storm’s paths shows it traveling up through Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, and ending in New York.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has also declared a state of emergency, and both mandatory and voluntary evacuations have been ordered for parts of the city.
“We are taking the potential impacts of Tropical Storm Nate seriously and mobilizing all of the state’s emergency preparedness and response mechanisms for a full readiness should this storm severely impact our state,” Edwards said, according to WWLTV.
“I encourage all Louisianans throughout the state to stay tuned to their local weather outlets and get a game plan in the event of severe weather in our area,” he added.
In a 5 a.m. ET update on Friday, Oct. 6, the National Hurricane Center said that wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall could affect areas of Louisiana through the western Florida Panhandle.
Nate is expected to produce a swath of heavy rain from the Gulf Coast to the Appalachians and possibly parts of the Northeast, Weather.com reported. Mudslides and flash flooding are predicted in some parts of Central America.
As of 1 p.m. CDT, Nate was 125 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and was moving northwest at about 21 mph. This trajectory with increased forward speed is expected over the next day or two.
Nate is forecast to move across the northwestern Caribbean Sea on Friday and to reach the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico early in the evening. It is then projected to move into the southern Gulf of Mexico during the night and approach the northern Gulf Coast by Saturday evening.
Within the hurricane watch area in Mexico, tropical storm conditions are possible by Friday evening, and hurricane conditions are expected by Friday night.
The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph with higher gusts.
Hurricane and tropical storm watches are in effect for portions of the northern Gulf Coast.
A hurricane watch is in effect for Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi–Alabama border, the metropolitan area of New Orleans, and Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, which is just to the west of Lake Pontchartrain.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for the area from the Mississippi–Alabama border to the line between Okaloosa County and Walton County in northwest Florida, and west of Morgan City, Louisiana, to Intracoastal City in the south of Louisiana.
In Central America, the warning is also in effect for Punta Castilla, Honduras, to the Honduras-Nicaragua border, and Punta Herrero, Mexico, to Rio Lagartos, Mexico, in the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula.
A storm surge warning is also in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Alabama–Florida border and the north and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain just north of New Orleans.
A storm surge watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening flooding from rising water moving inland from the coastline in the next 48 hours.