As Hurricane Nate has reached the US Gulf coast leaving almost 100,000 people in the states of Alabama and MS with no power, the US president approved the Alabama governor's request to provide assistance to the state.
Nate is forecast to reach the northern Gulf Coast somewhere between Grand Isle, Louisiana, and Panama City, Florida, late Saturday afternoon as a Category 1 Hurricane. After that, the center of the storm will move across the Deep South, Tennessee Valley and central Appalachian Mountains through Monday.
In New Orleans, Tulane University, which had a total enrollment of more than 13,000 in the 2016-2017 year, closed its campus to everyone but on-campus students and essential personnel.
Nate's winds dropped to 35 miles per hour, with higher gusts, and it will continue to weaken.
Flooding and landslides caused by Nate have already killed at least 17 people across Costa Rica and Nicaragua and the storm is estimated to cause about $1 billion in damage. It made a second landfall hours later near Biloxi, Miss.
The first floor of the parking lot of the Palace Casino also had flooding Saturday night.
As Nate races inland Sunday, it is expected to rapidly weaken and should barely be a tropical storm by Sunday night, weakening further to a tropical depression by early Monday morning.
States of emergency were declared in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. While tropical storm warnings remain in effect throughout the Alabama and Florida border eastward to Indian Pass, Fla. Officials in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach say their cities are "open and clear".
Wesley Williams of WLOX wrote that power had been knocked out in downtown Biloxi by the forceful winds.
"We'll see some breezy conditions as well", he said.
Nate made landfall twice on Saturday as a Category one hurricane. He warned that there is still a serious threat of a storm surge for areas outside of levee protection. There are about 4,800 people reported to not have power in their homes in Mississippi, according to Mississippi Power.