Flooding In Mississippi As Nate Makes Landfall

Oct 8, 2017
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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

It's been a busy hurricane season for the U.S. And now another storm has come along. Hurricane Nate first made landfall yesterday in southeast Louisiana, then again on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It's since rapidly slowed down, and it's been downgraded first to a tropical storm and now to a depression. Nate hasn't had the punch of Harvey or Irma. But it still managed to leave more than 100,000 people without power across Mississippi and Alabama. We're joined by NPR's Debbie Elliott in Mobile, Ala., for an update. Good morning, Debbie.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: Good morning.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So was this storm as bad as the authorities feared? What's it like there?

ELLIOTT: You know, it's calming here now. Just a little bit of wind remains here in Mobile. But downtown streets are flooded. There is no major structural damage. As you said, this came ashore twice. It kind of crossed that marshy tip of southeast Louisiana that's right at the mouth of the Mississippi River before it then made its major landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. And that sort of dampened its impact.

You know, at one point yesterday, authorities were saying that the storm was rapidly intensifying. It was moving faster over the Gulf of Mexico than they thought. And it was likely to be a Category 2 storm. When it actually came ashore, it had maximum sustained winds of about 85 miles per hour, so it was a Category 1 storm. So not as bad as anticipated but still a hurricane striking the Gulf Coast.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, indeed. Tell us about the damage from the storm. And were people prepared?

ELLIOTT: You know, people had evacuated low-lying coastal areas that are prone to flooding and that were in danger of a storm surge that would come from a hurricane like this. So people were prepared. But it looks like the main issue is going to be flooding. Here in downtown Mobile, some streets are underwater. South of here in some neighborhoods, there were some high-water rescues overnight - people who lived along waterways stranded in their homes where there are floodwaters.

And as you mentioned earlier, like, something - like, more, than 100,000 people out of power. And this is over a wide area - Mississippi, Alabama and then the Florida Panhandle, as well. So now it's time to sort of see what the damage is and what's next. And this storm is still moving. So there are going to be impacts felt for the rest of the day.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Just briefly - we have about 30 seconds left - are there enough resources to cope with all these disasters? It's been such an intense hurricane season.

ELLIOTT: It has. You know, officials here say they have what they need to respond to this one. But the question is at the federal level. You know, there are going to be more people who qualify for FEMA assistance as they try to clean up and repair from now yet another hurricane.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's NPR's Debbie Elliott in Mobile, Ala. Thank you so much.

ELLIOTT: You're welcome.

(SOUNDBITE OF QUANTUM'S "MEANING") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.