UPDATED 7 A.M.: Preparations here for Tropical Storm Nate
A tropical storm watch is in effect for St. Mary Parish as Tropical Storm Nate approaches the Gulf Coast.
The latest predictions are for landfall to the east of St. Mary Parish, but preparations are underway here.
Tropical Storm Nate is expected to make landfall early Sunday morning in southeast Louisiana, east of Morgan City, said Roger Erickson, warning coordination meteorologist at the Lake Charles office of the National Weather Service
The storm could hit anywhere from Houma to the Mississippi border. There’s a good chance Nate will strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane before landfall, Erickson said. Category 1 hurricanes have sustained winds of at least 74 mph.
He said Morgan City can expect a worst-case scenario of 50 mph winds. Since Morgan City is to the west of the storm, storm surge is not a serious threat.
The forecast here is for 1-3 inches of rain.
Duval Arthur, director of St. Mary Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said Homeland Security is monitoring the storm in conjunction with the National Weather Service. Emergency preparation has begun with the testing of generators and other emergency equipment.
Sandbags are prepped and ready to be distributed if determined necessary. More information will be available after a conference call Friday morning.
Jean Paul Bourg, board member of St. Mary Parish Consolidated Gravity Drainage District 2, said the Walnut Canal Barge will be closed Friday.
“Being that the storm is moving so fast and this process takes time, we chose to be proactive instead of reactive and the decision has been made to close the drainage structure,” said Bourg.
Bourg said that currently the canal barge may not need to be closed but any slight change in the trajectory in the storm could create the need for the closure. The canal barge will be reopened as soon as water levels allow for the reopening.
Check back for updates on St.MaryNow.com.
In Baton Rouge, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency. “We do anticipate a direct hit in Louisiana,” Edwards said at an afternoon news conference.
Edwards urged residents to ready for rainfall, storm surge and severe winds — and to be where they intend to hunker down by Saturday evening.
“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,” he said.
Nate formed Thursday in the western Caribbean Sea near Nicaragua. The forecast track had it reaching southeast Louisiana early Sunday, although the range of possible landfalls extended from the central Louisiana coast westward into Alabama.
In New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu also declared a state of emergency.
“Since early August, we have made substantial progress,” Landrieu said of work to upgrade the city drainage system after summer floods. But he warned at an afternoon news conference that extremely heavy rain and storm surge from Nate still could pose flood dangers.
His office outlined steps being taken to improve weaknesses laid bare in the pumping and drainage system after an Aug. 5 deluge led to flooding of homes and businesses in some sections of the city. In the days that followed came revelations of pumps and power-generating turbines that weren’t working, as well as personnel shortages at the Sewerage and Water Board, the agency that runs the drainage system.
The city said 108 of 120 pumps were fully operational Thursday and said 26 backup generators were also in place. Also, the city said efforts to clean thousands of street catch basins had been stepped up, with vacuum trucks dispatched to various areas to suck out thick mud and debris.
National Weather Service statement covering the Tri-City area
Hurricane Nate Local Statement Advisory Number 12
National Weather Service Lake Charles LA AL162017
421 AM CDT Sat Oct 7 2017
This product covers SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA AND SOUTHEAST TEXAS
**HURRICANE NATE CONTINUES MOVING RAPIDLY OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF
* CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
* CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
- A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Iberia, Lafayette,
Lower St. Martin, St. Mary, Upper St. Martin, and Vermilion
* STORM INFORMATION:
- About 530 miles southeast of Cameron LA or about 440 miles
southeast of Morgan City LA
- 24.5N 87.0W
- Storm Intensity 80 mph
- Movement North-northwest or 340 degrees at 22 mph
As of 4 AM CDT, Hurricane Nate was rapidly advancing in the southern Gulf of
Mexico and was moving north-northwest near 22 mph. This motion is expected to
continue today with a turn to the north northeast on Sunday. Hurricane Nate is
expected to make landfall potentially along the southeast Louisiana coast
late Saturday night into early Sunday morning.
Prepare for hazardous wind having possible limited impacts across South
Central Louisiana. Potential impacts in this area include:
- Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored
mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about.
- Many large tree limbs broken off. A few trees snapped or
uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are
shallow rooted. Some fences and roadway signs blown over.
- A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban
or heavily wooded places. Hazardous driving conditions on
bridges and other elevated roadways.
- Scattered power and communications outages.
Elsewhere across SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA AND SOUTHEAST TEXAS, little to
no impact is anticipated.
* OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION:
Now is the time to check your emergency plan and take necessary
actions to secure your home or business. Deliberate efforts should be
underway to protect life and property. Ensure that your Emergency
Supplies Kit is stocked and ready.
When making safety and preparedness decisions, do not focus on the
exact forecast track as there are inherent forecast uncertainties
which must be taken into account.
Closely monitor NOAA Weather Radio or other local news outlets for
official storm information. Listen for possible changes to the
* ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
- For information on appropriate preparations see ready.gov
- For information on creating an emergency plan see getagameplan.org
- For additional disaster preparedness information see redcross.org
The next local statement will be issued by the National Weather
Service in Lake Charles LA around 8 AM CDT, or sooner if conditions