Nate weakens to tropical depression after hitting U.S. Gulf Coast

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A shrimp boat is sunk at its mooring along the Pascagoula River in Moss Point, Miss., on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, after Hurricane Nate made landfall on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. David Nelson said the boat belongs to his father and will be repaired. (AP Photo/Jeff Amy)

Hurricane Nate is now a tropical depression, after it hit the American Gulf Coast. The storm brought strong winds, heavy rains, and storm surges from Florida to Louisiana.

One of the hardest hit cities is Biloxi in the state of Mississippi. CGTN’s Sean Callebs reports from there.

Mississippi’s Gulf Coast region felt the brunt of Hurricane Nate with winds reaching 136 kilometers an hour. The storm moved rapidly through the Gulf of Mexico, sending floodwaters into the many casinos that dot the shoreline in the town of Biloxi.

Daylight revealed a beach lined with debris. Nate pushed tons of sand onto the main state road, Highway 90, that runs parallel to the water. The storm weakened quickly as it moved over land.

Gulf Coast residents in Mississippi who listened to howling wind, and driving rain that accompanied the hurricane ashore, said that it appears that the region fared better than many had anticipated.

Hurricane Nate was the fourth powerful storm to roll through the warm Atlantic waters in the past couple of months, and again highlights the dangers of living close to the ocean. “That same storm, if Nate would have hit U.S. 15 years ago, damage would have been much more extensive, we would have loss of life but we have rebuilt the coast in the aftermath of Katrina. Higher and stronger,” explained Lee Smithson, Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Every storm that threatens the region conjures up painful memories of Hurricane Katrina that hit in 2005. It was a killer storm that laid waste to much of the Gulf Coast.

As Nate churned through the Gulf of Mexico, it appeared to have the Louisiana city of New Orleans in its cross hairs. The mayor, Mitch Landrieu, mandated an early evening curfew and told people to expect the worst. Once it was clear New Orleans would be spared, the curfew was cancelled, and the mayor said, “…better safe -than sorry.”

With the sun peeking through the clouds, shrimpers headed out for a late season harvest.

Some storms are remembered for instilling fear and widespread damage. Others for how bad things could have been. Along the central Gulf Coast, people felt glad that Nate was just passing through.