Hurricane Nate weakens to a tropical storm after making US landfall twice


(CNN)Nate weakened to a tropical storm early Sunday as it moved farther inland over Mississippi and Alabama, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and “rapid weakening is anticipated,” the center said.

Nate made its second US landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi, shortly after midnight local time Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane.

It was the first hurricane to make landfall in Mississippi since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Just hours earlier, Nate had made its first US landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River in southeast Louisiana, with winds of 85 mph the National Hurricane Center reported Saturday night.

The center said that Nate was about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northeast of Biloxi early Sunday and heading northeast at a speed of 23 mph (37 kilometers an hour).

A hurricane warning has been discontinued for coastal areas from the mouth of Pearl River on the Louisiana-Mississippi border eastward to the Alabama-Florida border.

Nate’s path

Winds as fast as 89 mph were reported east of Venice , Louisiana, and 70 mph at Keesler Airforce Base in Mississippi.

Power was out for 7,000 people in Alabama, 4,400 customers in Mississippi and 3,600 in Florida’s Panhandle region, according to companies.

Meanwhile, rain soaked coastal Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi much of Saturday. Nate could drop 3 to 6 inches of rain, with 10 inches possible in some areas, from the central Gulf Coast north across the Deep South, the eastern Tennessee Valley and the southern Appalachians through Monday, the hurricane center said. Flash flooding is a danger.

“Nate’s center will continue to move inland over Mississippi and across the Deep South, Tennessee Valley, and central Appalachian Mountains through Monday,” according to the National Hurricane Center’s early Sunday advisory.

As the storm moves inland, it could mean more power outages, debris and flight delays, Sater said.

Nate has already carved a path of devastation in Central America. At least 28 people were killed Thursday in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras. Hundreds were rescued from floodwaters and mudslides. Many lost power and running water.

Emergencies declared in Mississippi, Louisiana.

President Donald Trump declared an emergency in Mississippi and Louisiana.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant urged county residents to head north away from the Gulf, but there was no mandatory evacuation. He warned winds could reach 80 mph and storm surge could be as high as 7 to 10 feet.