Louisiana governor warns residents ahead of Tropical Storm Nate
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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) on Friday warned the state's residents to prepare as Tropical Storm Nate appears set to hit the state as a Category 1 hurricane this weekend.

"I want to reiterate that no one should take this storm lightly. It has already claimed the lives of at least 20 people in Nicaragua and Honduras. And as we know from past storms, low intensity does not necessarily mean low impact," Edwards said at a press conference

The storm is expected to make landfall late Saturday night and into Sunday morning. It gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico after hitting parts of Central America this week.

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Tropical storm force winds are expected to be felt as early as Saturday afternoon in parts of southeastern Louisiana. 

The storm is expected to bring three to six inches of rain and a storm surge of four to seven feet along the coast, Edwards said.

New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, lies in Nate's path and officials urged residents on Friday to make preparations.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) declared a state of emergency on Thursday and ordered a mandatory evacuation of the Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou parts of the city.

The storm comes as portions of the southeastern U.S. recover from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which primarily hit Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, respectively.