The Latest: Mississippi reopens casinos after storm

The National Hurricane Center said Nate is expected to pass over parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee

Many docks and boat ramps like this one on Cinco Bayou are submerged in water due to flooding from Hurricane Nate on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)
Many docks and boat ramps like this one on Cinco Bayou are submerged in water due to flooding from Hurricane Nate on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (Nick Tomecek/Northwest Florida Daily News via AP)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on severe weather in the U.S. brought by Nate (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos have been given the all-clear to reopen while the region recovers from Hurricane Nate.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission said on its website that coastal casinos were allowed to re-open as of 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Closures were ordered Saturday as Nate approached.

The storm hit the coast with surges of up to 10 feet, and some casinos reported ground level flooding.

Nate was a Category 1 hurricane when it came ashore outside Biloxi early Sunday. By midday Sunday, the National Hurricane Center in Miami had downgraded Nate to a tropical depression.

___

12:30 p.m.

Officials are assessing storm damage to the manmade beach that lines much of Mississippi’s coast.

Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said the process of cleaning sand and debris from beachfront U.S. 90 will take at least until Monday.

Officials say a storm surge of up to 10 feet was received near the Alabama state line.

Damage to about 25 structures has been reported so far in Mississippi, and electricity was slowly being restored.

The total number of customer without power fell to about 32,000 at 11 a.m. Sunday, from nearly 50,000 at the height of the storm.

___

11 a.m.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the hurricanes that have struck the U.S. and its territories this year – four so far – have “strained” resources.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long told ABC’s “This Week” that some 85 percent of the agency’s forces were deployed and still working on issues created by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and now Nate.

He said that “in regards to resources, of course we’re strained” because “nearly 85 percent of my entire agency is deployed right now. We’re still working massive issues in Harvey, Irma, as well as the issues in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and now this one.”

Nate struck the U.S. as a Category 1 storm on Saturday but has since weakened substantially. The National Hurricane Center in Miami downgraded the storm to “tropical depression” strength and discontinued all hurricane and storm surge warnings and watches for the Gulf Coast.

Winds gusts of tropical storm force were expected over the Florida Panhandle and portions of Alabama and Georgia on Sunday, the hurricane center said. Water levels remained elevated along portions of the northern Gulf Coast, but were expected to gradually subside by midday Sunday.

___

7 a.m.

Tropical Storm Nate is dumping heavy amounts of rain as it weakens and moves northward and away from the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Nate’s maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 45 mph (75 kph) with higher gusts. The storm is expected to continue to rapidly weaken as it moves farther inland across the Deep South, Tennessee Valley and central Appalachian mountains. Through Monday, those areas can expect at least 3 to 6 inches of rain.

The hurricane center discontinued its storm surge warning for the area west of the Mississippi-Alabama border. A tropical storm warning was discontinued for the area west of the Alabama-Florida border.

___

6:15 a.m.

More than 100,000 residents in Mississippi and Alabama are without power following the arrival of Nate.

Alabama Power Co. said about 59,000 customers lost their electricity in the state. About 53,000 of those were in the Mobile area.

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokesman Greg Flynn said Mississippi Power and the state’s electric power associations reported a total of about 48,000 customers without power early Sunday.

Nate made landfall in Mississippi early Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane and later weakened to a tropical storm.

___

5:50 a.m.

A storm surge from Hurricane Nate pushed over the beachfront highway of U.S. 90 in Biloxi, flooding the parking structure of the Golden Nugget casino.

Water kept going several blocks deep into the area.

Pascagoula also reported that storm surge flooded downtown streets in that coastal city.

Thousands were without power in southern Mississippi.

Nate made landfall in Mississippi early Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane and later weakened to a tropical storm. The storm marks the first time a hurricane has made landfall in Mississippi since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

___

5:50 a.m.

Nate’s rising water has flooded homes and cars on Alabama’s coast and inundated at least one major thoroughfare in downtown Mobile.

Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier says he woke up around 3 a.m. Sunday to discover knee-deep water in his yard. Although some homes and cars on the island have flooded, Collier said he hadn’t heard of any reports of residents needing to be rescued from the floodwaters. Collier also says the water levels appeared to be falling as dawn approached.

Storm surge also flooded Water Street in downtown Mobile and a ground-level causeway across Mobile Bay. Alabama Department of Transportation traffic cameras show water still standing on both those routes before dawn Sunday.

Gregory Robinson, a spokesman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, said there were no immediate reports of storm-related deaths.

Various Alabama utilities report more than 59,000 customers are without electricity.

Nate made landfall in Mississippi early Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane and later weakened to a tropical storm.

___

3:55 a.m.

Nate has weakened to a tropical storm as it moves inland over Mississippi and Alabama.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds decreased Sunday morning to near 70 mph (110 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to continue quickly weakening.

Earlier Sunday, Nate came ashore outside Biloxi, Mississippi, as a hurricane, the first the make a direct hit on the state since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Nate has brought stinging rain to the Gulf Coast and its powerful winds have pushed water onto roads. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported.

___

1 a.m.

Hurricane Nate came ashore along Mississippi’s coast outside Biloxi, the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm had maximum sustained winds early Sunday near 85 mph (140 kph) with weakening expected as it moves inland. It was centered about 5 miles (10 kilometers) north of Biloxi and moving north near at 20 mph (31 kph).

It was Nate’s second landfall. Saturday night, the storm came ashore along a sparsely populated area in southeast Louisiana.

Nate brought stinging rain to the Gulf Coast and its powerful winds pushed water onto roads. No deaths or injuries were immediately reported.

___

10 p.m.

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.

___

8:45 p.m.

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 cancelled 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.

___

7 p.m.

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.

___

6 p.m.

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.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

.

 

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s