The relentless hurricane season shows no sign of letting up, with meteorologists tracking a new storm expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast on Sunday.
Tropical Storm Nate is on a deadly trajectory through the Gulf of Mexico, with fatalities already recorded in Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica. Significant flooding has also forced thousands in Nicaragua to evacuate their homes.
The storm is predicted to make landfall on the Gulf Coast on Sunday, when it is expected to have strengthened to a Category 1 Hurricane, meaning winds over 75 miles per hour could result.
Rainfall of 3 to 6 inches is expected, with 12 inches in some locations, across the U.S. Gulf Coast states, eastern Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachians, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Louisiana’s Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on Thursday, and the City of New Orleans will enforce a curfew Saturday evening as the city braces for the storm.
Direct Relief has been in contact with the Pan American Health Organization, as well as healthcare partners in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras to offer assistance.
Direct Relief also offered assistance to 161 partners in Nate’s projected path in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Direct Relief has an extensive Hurricane Preparedness Program, which prepositions medical supplies in areas prone to seasonal Atlantic and Pacific hurricanes. These packs are available for healthcare providers to use when a hurricane strikes, and there are several prepositioned in Nicaragua and Honduras, as well as 11 in storm’s U.S. path.
Direct Relief will continue monitoring the storm and stands ready to respond as needed.
The storm has killed at least 22 people in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras, where the storm has caused widespread flash flooding and mudslides, officials said. Nate is forecast to gain force as it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula late Friday and turn into a Category 1 hurricane when it makes landfall in the US Gulf Coast on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has set a 6 p.m. Saturday curfew in advance of Tropical Storm Nate, which is expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by the time it makes landfall later that night. In addition, a mandatory evacuation has been ordered for residents in Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou, which are outside the city’s storm protection system.