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At Least 28 Dead After Tropical Storm Nate Hits Mexixo, US

At Least 28 Dead After Tropical Storm Nate Hits Mexixo, US

The storm is on track for a likely US landfall between southeast Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle on Sunday, potentially as a hurricane. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency announced the opening of shelters on the coast Saturday.

Damage caused by the storm prompted Costa Rican officials to postpone a World Cup qualifying soccer match between that country and Honduras, which had been scheduled for Friday night.

It could bring risky wind gusts and a high storm surge from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle. The storm was projected to bring storm surges from seven to 11 feet near the Alabama-Mississippi state line.

The Hurricane Watch is discontinued from west of Grand Isle to Morgan City. And that's concerning because the federal government's emergency response capabilities are already severely strained from the ongoing disaster response in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

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Some good news once the storm moves inland: "Beneficial rain may extend across the interior eastern US next week, which could ease abnormally dry and building drought conditions in some locations", said AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rathbun.

New Orleans, 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Slidell, evacuated some residents from areas outside its levee system as the storm approached.

Jackson County in coastal MS enacted a curfew that began at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET), several hours before the powerful northeastern side of the core is expected to arrive. Storm surge warnings included the coast from Grand Isle to the Okaloosa/Walton county line in Florida and the northern and western shores of Lake Pontchartrain.

Follow the National Weather Service's Atlantic Ops account on Twitter. Nate will test the resiliency of New Orleans pumping stations, which are operating at 92 percent capacity after being strained by previous flooding this summer, The New Orleans Advocate explains. According to the Associated Press, Nate has been responsible for 22 deaths in Central America, mainly due to flooding. Entergy has 1,800 workers staged for Nate.

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Louisiana and MS officials declared states of emergency, and Louisiana ordered some people to evacuate coastal areas and barrier islands ahead of Nate's expected landfall. The deluge exposed system weaknesses - including the failure of some pumps and power-generating turbines - and caused homes and businesses to flood.

In Alabama, the Port of Mobile closed Saturday, meaning the Carnival Fantasy cruise ship would not be "making its scheduled call" there Sunday, the Mobile Alabama Cruise Terminal said. Since forecasters don't expect Nate to linger, but instead to pass through relatively quickly, officials expect the pumps to be able handle the water.

Updates through the day on the WBRC First Alert Weather app.

"No one should take this storm lightly". Some beachfront hotels and casinos were evacuated, and rain began falling on the region Saturday.

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