Gov. Edwards discusses Nate after declaring State of Emergency

BATON ROUGE, La. (KNOE) - Edwards updates the Nate situation in a Friday news conference. Thursday, he declared a state of emergency for Louisiana. The news conference is scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm.

Friday News Conference Highlights

*Gov. Edwards says Nate has shifted east, but everyone should stay on guard.

*Landfall is still expected for Sunday morning as a Cat 1 Hurricane or Tropical Storm. They are preparing for a Cat 2 as a precaution.

*Edwards says everyone in south Louisiana should be where they need to be by 8 pm Saturday night. The storm is expected to hit before daybreak on Sunday.

*Edwards say they expect 3"-6" of rain in south Louisiana and a storm surge of 7 feet.

*Edwards suggests people visit for real-time information on road closures.

*Edwards reiterates that people should stay prepared, despite Nate shifting east because things could change and it could get stronger.

*Edwards says forecasters predict this will be primarily a wind and storm surge event for south Louisiana, which can cause heavy damage.

*Edwards says roadway flooding at night is also a concern.

Watch a replay of Friday's news conference here or on our Facebook page.

Governor Edwards' office released the following news release:

Gov. John Bel Edwards proclaimed a state of emergency for the entire state of Louisiana in anticipation of potential severe weather and heavy rainfall threatened by Tropical Storm Nate.

“We are taking the potential impacts of Tropical Storm Nate seriously and mobilizing all of the state’s emergency preparedness and response mechanisms for a full readiness should this storm severely impact our state,” said Gov. Edwards. “I encourage all Louisianans throughout the state to stay tuned to their local weather outlets and get a game plan in the event of severe weather in our area.”


News Conference Highlights

*Gov. Edwards has declared a state of emergency ahead of Nate. He will request that President Trump do the same.

*Landfall is expected Sunday morning, but this could change.

*Gov. Edwards says he expects a direct hit on Louisiana as a hurricane or tropical storm.

*15 National Guardsmen will be in New Orleans to keep an eye on pumps. Edwards says 1300 have been mobilized ahead of Nate.

*Mayor Mitch Landrieu has declared a state of emergency for the city of New Orleans.

*Edwards: "We don't anticipate that this is going to cause a devastating impact to New Orleans."

*Edwards says the state is prepared.

You can also watch a replay of the news conference on our Facebook page.

More on Nate

A tropical storm in the southwestern Caribbean is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane that could affect the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The system, formerly a tropical depression, strengthened into a tropical storm near the coast of Nicaragua this morning. Tropical Storm Nate was moving into eastern Honduras, churning 40 miles west-southwest of Puerto Lempira, Honduras, as of 5 p.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The tropical storm is pounding Nicaragua with rain heavy enough to cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Up to 30 inches of rain is possible in some areas of Central America through Friday night.

Tropical Storm Nate is expected to be near Cancun, Mexico, by Friday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Nate could reach hurricane status as early as Saturday while entering the Gulf of Mexico. Its trajectory has it on track to make landfall somewhere between New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday night or Sunday morning as a weak Category 1 hurricane, with winds of about 80 mph. Then, the storm is expected to weaken to a post-tropical system, according to the National Hurricane Center. But the track and the storm's strength are subject to change.

Residents from Louisiana to Florida are being warned to monitor the system as it approaches this weekend. The area is still feeling the effects of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared a state of emergency for the city, he said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. A coastal flood advisory is in effect for New Orleans until 12 p.m. on Sunday, and storm surge is possible throughout the weekend, according to the mayor's office.

Officials are working "around the clock" to repair all power and pumps for the city's drainage system, Landrieu said.

Oil and gas companies began evacuating six production platforms on Thursday, the Bureau of Safety Environmental Enforcement said in a report. While one movable rig was taken out of the storm's path, no drilling rigs have been evacuated, according to the report.

So far, the Atlantic has seen five major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) during the 2017 season; two short of the record set in 2005, when seven major hurricanes hit.