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Hurricane Nate strengthens; threatens Gulf Coast

Hurricane Nate is expected to make landfall along the Gulf Coast near New Orleans late Saturday night into early Sunday. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Nate (all times local):

8:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump has approved an emergency declaration for a large area of Louisiana and ordered federal assistance for the state as Hurricane Nate approaches the central Gulf of Mexico.

A White House statement released early Saturday said the president authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate all federal disaster relief efforts. The statement says the move is intended to speed aid, save lives and protect property and public safety in the region. It specifically identifies 17 parishes, many in coastal Louisiana.

The statement comes as Nate is speeding north-northwest over the central Gulf of Mexico as a Category 1 hurricane. Forecasters say the hurricane is expected to make landfall Saturday night along the central U.S. Gulf Coast.

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8 a.m.

Hurricane Nate has gotten a little stronger as it races across the central Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Nate is moving toward the north-northwest at about 22 mph (35 kph) and the core of the hurricane is expected to make landfall Saturday night on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The center says a hurricane hunter aircraft found maximum sustained winds in the Category 1 storm have risen to near 85 mph (135 kph) with higher gusts. Forecasters say some more strengthening is possible before Nate makes landfall.

At 8 a.m. EDT Saturday, Nate was centered about 245 miles (395 kilometers) south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. A hurricane warning is in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border as well as for the New Orleans metro area and nearby Lake Pontchartrain.


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