Hurricane Nate has been downgraded to a Category 2 tropical storm hours after twice making landfall in the U.S. yesterday, the Associated Press reports.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) confirms that Nate first made landfall with 85mph winds at the mouth of the Mississippi River in southeastern Louisiana on Saturday. Hours later, at around midnight local time, it hit the area near Biloxi, MS — the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since Katrina in 2005.
No deaths or injuries in the Gulf Coast area have been immediately reported, according to the AP. The hurricane is responsible for at least 22 deaths as it moved through Central America earlier in the week, with Nicaragua and Costa Rico reporting the largest number of casualties. That number is expected to rise.
The NHC said that Nate is "rapidly weakening" as it moves inland at a northeast trajectory. It has thus been downgraded to a tropical storm, though storm surge flooding is still a concern, with the southeastern states experiencing heavy rainfall and reports of power outages.
"On the forecast track, Nate's center will continue to move inland across the Deep South, Tennessee Valley, and central Appalachian Mountains through Monday," an NHC public advisory issued early this morning predicts.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to about 45mph, and the NHC adds that Nate is "expected to continue to quickly weaken as it moves farther inland. It should degenerate into a remnant low late Monday."
That doesn't mean the threat is over, however. As footage from Biloxi and its surrounding area shows, the storm surge flooding has been intense.
Alabama also experienced flooding and high winds as Nate passed through. More than 50,000 homes are said to be without power.
We will continue to update this story as more news becomes available.