Hurricane Nate inches closer to Mississippi Coast
The Latest on Hurricane Nate (all times local):
Hurricane Nate is moving closer to the Mississippi coast and is expected to come ashore near Biloxi with winds of about 85 mph (137 kph).
The National Hurricane Center said Nate was about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Biloxi. Forecasters say it will make landfall within the next hour or two. After that, the center of the storm will move across the Deep South, Tennessee Valley and central Appalachian Mountains through Monday.
Nate is expected to weaken after landfall.
The storm made its first landfall in a sparsely populated area of southeast Louisiana.
New Orleans' mayor is lifting a curfew as Hurricane Nate passes by and appears to spare the city known for its all-night partying.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Saturday night that he lifted the curfew because the National Weather Service canceled a hurricane warning for city.
He still recommends people shelter in place because of the tropical storm-force winds. Some of the watering holes along the well-known bar-hopping Bourbon Street closed while others stayed open, despite the curfew.
The streets were not as crowded as a typical Saturday night.
Hurricane Nate has made landfall at the mouth of the Mississippi River as a Category 1 storm with winds of 85 mph (137 kph).
The National Hurricane Center said Saturday night that Nate is expected to make a second landfall along the coast of Mississippi on Saturday night and then pass over parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.
The storm has weakened slightly and is moving north a little slower at 20 mph (32 kph). Evacuations have been ordered along the central Gulf Coast and people are hunkering down as they wait on the storm.
Officials say they have had to rescue people from two sailboats as Hurricane Nate approaches the Gulf Coast, kicking up high waves and winds.
The first rescue happened about 12 p.m. Saturday when two people had to be helped off a 41-foot sailboat that lost its engine in Lake Pontchartrain. The Coast Guard says both sailors were in stable condition.
The second rescue occurred in the Mississippi Sound. Melissa Scallon, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, says a distress call came in around 3 p.m. Saturday after a sailboat struck rocks at Bayou Caddy west of Waveland.
Scallon says the state Marine Patrol responded and plucked three people from the water. She says they were not hurt.