As Nate Weakens, Expect Heavy Rain and Wind

Sean Gardner, Getty Images

The first bands of rain hit New Orleans Saturday afternoon as Hurricane Nate made its way north from the Gulf of Mexico.

Nate has quickly weakened to a tropical depression. The Birmingham metro area can expect torrential rains and strong winds to continue moving in Sunday. Wind advisories are in effect for all of Central Alabama through 10 pm Sunday. The latest forecasts have lowered sustained wind speeds to 20-35 mph, with wind gusts of 35-45 mph.

Isolated tornadoes are still possible mainly south and east of Birmingham up through Anniston.  Those areas are also expected to get the most rainfall through Monday at 4-5 inches.

But weather officials warn that even with a weakened storm, it doesn’t take much to bring down trees. There are reports of multiple trees down in Tallapoosa and Clay counties.

High winds also trigger power outages. As of 10 am, 82,000 Alabama Power customers were without service.

Chilton County reported the highest wind gusts Sunday morning: 46 mph; the Troy and Shelby County airports had 38 mph wind gusts.

President Donald Trump Sunday morning approved an emergency declaration for the State of Alabama. The request came from Gov. Kay Ivey. The move authorizes federal assistance to supplement the state’s efforts in connection with Tropical Storm Nate’s impacts. Emergency protective measures will be provided at 75 percent federal funding at the discretion of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

This assistance would include these counties: Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Bibb, Bullock, Butler, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Coffee, Coosa, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Dallas, Elmore, Escambia, Geneva, Greene, Hale, Henry, Houston, Jefferson, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pike, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, Washington, and Wilcox and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The City of Orange Beach reports al major roads are clear and open. There have been trees downed and piers damaged there, but the city expects businesses to be open and operating as usual by noon.