Trump approves Louisiana emergency declaration ahead of Hurricane Nate

Trump approves Louisiana emergency declaration ahead of Hurricane Nate
© WhiteHouse.gov

President Trump has approved an emergency declaration for Louisiana as officials prepare for Hurricane Nate, the White House announced Saturday.

Trump issued the declaration Friday, allowing federal assistance to supplement state and local efforts. The order allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief work.

The president emphasized in a tweet Saturday morning that FEMA was prepared for the storm, urging residents in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to "please listen to your local authorities & be safe!"

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Nate strengthened to a Category 1 storm heading into Saturday, and was about 245 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour Saturday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

"Nate is a little stronger over the central Gulf of Mexico," the hurricane center said in its latest advisory, indicating that the storm was heading toward Louisiana at 22 miles per hour.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) warned residents ahead of the approaching storm on Friday, which is expected to hit the state as a Category 1 storm 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.

Trump has approved a number of disaster declarations for states in recent months preparing for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which primarily affected Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, respectively.

—Updated at 10:17 a.m.