Hurricane Set to Hit New Orleans, Officials See 1 Detail Declare State of Emergency

The mayor of New Orleans declared a state of emergency Thursday evening in response to the approach of Tropical Storm Nate, a Category 1 hurricane slated to make landfall along the Gulf Coast as early as Sunday morning, and in part because of the city’s poor drainage system.

While the storm is expected to be significantly weaker than Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it still poses a major risk to New Orleans specifically because of the city’s aging drainage system.

According to local station WWL, the system currently operates at 92 percent capacity, which, while perhaps sounding adequate, is in fact very troubling, especially given recent events. During rain spells on July 22, Aug. 5 and Oct. 2, flooding broke out across certain parts of the city.

Apparently, several pumps don’t work, and some of the turbines that power the pumps are down as well. This has many locals wondering whether the system will be able to handle the job ahead of it.

“That’s now a thought in everybody who lives in New Orleans,” said Devin Shearman, a manager at a restaurant which experienced flooding on Aug. 5, in remarks made to the Associated Press.

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This is especially a concern given the city’s low elevation:

During a news briefing Thursday, however, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu vowed that improvements to the drainage system have been made: “Since early August, we have made substantial progress,” he said, though he admitted the heavy rain and storm surge expected from Nate could still pose serious flood dangers.

He also declared a state of emergency for the city, urging residents to “be ready and prepare.”

As of Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center expected Nate to make landfall along the Gulf Coast by either late Saturday evening or early Sunday morning.

“Nate is forecast to reach the northern Gulf Coast late Saturday or Sunday morning as a hurricane, and the threat of direct impacts from wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall is increasing from Louisiana through the western Florida Panhandle,” the center reported.

If you live in New Orleans, please be careful, OK?

H/T Fox News

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