Louisiana Governor urges folks to hunker down ahead of Nate

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BATON ROUGE, La. (Associated Press) - Governors in Louisiana and Florida are urging residents to make final preparations for Hurricane Nate's impending arrival.

In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Saturday that people in the southeastern part of the state should hunker down by 3 p.m.

He says the storm's eye is expected to make landfall about four hours later, likely bringing limited rain but powerful storm surges and strong winds.

The state National Guard, meanwhile, has mobilized 1,300 troops and positioned high-water vehicles, boats and even school buses from Baton Rouge to New Orleans to help with rescues.

Edwards said he also spoke with President Trump Saturday morning, who assured him the federal government was prepared to respond as well.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said the roughly 100,000 residents in evacuation zones should heed warnings, stick to their emergency plan and stay vigilant for updates from local officials.

He said the hurricane could bring not just storm surges and strong winds to the Panhandle, but also tornadoes.

Meanwhile, early voting is wrapping up sooner than scheduled in parts of Louisiana because of Hurricane Nate.

Meg Casper Sunstrom, spokeswoman for the Secretary of State's office, said voters in some southeastern parishes will have until 3 p.m. on Saturday to cast their ballots early.

The parishes affected are in the New Orleans-area, including Orleans, St. Bernard, Plaquemines and St. Tammany parishes.

Early voting will continue to close at 6 p.m. in the state's other parishes.

Saturday is the last day of the week-long early voting period. Louisiana has a statewide election Oct. 14, and New Orleans has a hotly contested mayor's race on the ballot.