Hurricane Nate: What you need to know Sunday

Emergency management officials across South Mississippi will start to assess damages from Hurricane Nate Sunday morning.

Nate made landfall about 12:30 a.m. Sunday in on the east side of Gulfport. It came ashore as a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph.

Nate, who has been downgraded, continued to move rather quickly to the north-northeast with rapid weakening expected over the next couple of days. Conditions closer to the Coast will continue to improve steadily.


The Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport has resumed normal operations.


On Saturday night, American Red Cross sheltered 1,198 people in 18 shelters throughout Southeast Mississippi as Hurricane Nate came ashore.

As of 10 a.m. Sunday, all shelters are closed or will be closed by mid-afternoon.

Early reports indicate very limited residential damage from Hurricane Nate but a more thorough damage assessment is underway. Any families requiring additional assistance from the Red Cross will be served on a case-by-case basis.

MDOT road information

Hurricane Nate’s landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast brought a significant storm surge, heavy rainfall and high winds to the state. The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) began clearing debris Saturday night as the storm passed and are continuing debris removal, clean-up and repairing traffic signals to restore traffic flow Sunday in South Mississippi.

“MDOT’s first responders began efforts to clear roadways as the storm moved onshore last night,” Transportation Commissioner Tom King said, in a press release. “Crews removed debris from highways as it was reported and are currently out continuing to assess damage caused by Hurricane Nate.”

There are portions of U.S. 90 with significant sand deposits and water covering the roadway in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.

MDOT has announced the following response efforts Sunday:

▪  MDOT maintenance crews are working to clear sand and remove debris from U.S. 90 between U.S. 49 and I-110.

▪  MDOT crews are repairing a number of traffic signals along U.S. 90 that were damaged by high winds.

▪  MDOT crews are re-installing all drawbridge gates throughout Mississippi’s coastal counties. Drawbridges on Highways 605 and 609 are operational. Crews are working on power issues on the I-110 drawbridge.

▪  MDOT crews are removing over 1,000 pumpkins from U.S. 90 in Pass Christian that were blown onto the road from a pumpkin patch due to high winds.

“For your safety, we ask all motorists to remain off of Highway 90 until our crews remove the sand and restore traffic signals,” King said.

MDOT has announced the following impact to travelers in South Mississippi.

▪  Vehicles should avoid the U.S. 90 corridor along the Gulf Coast for MDOT crews to inspect, repair and restore the highway for traffic flow in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.

▪  Highway 57 at Red Creek in Jackson County remains closed after recently being struck by a truck carrying a track hoe. Motorists are advised to continue following posted signage and utilize State Route 26, State Route 63 and I-10 as alternate routes.

Coast Transit Authority Services resume on Monday.

Food safety

The Mississippi State Health Department is alerting those who lost power to take precautions for food safety. Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.

Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!

Practice safe food handling and to prevent food-borne illness by following these simple steps:

▪  A full cooler will maintain its cold temperature longer than one that is partially filled, so it is important to pack plenty of extra ice or freezer packs to ensure a constant cold temperature. If available, 25 pounds of dry ice will keep a 10-cubic-foot freezer below freezing for 3-4 days. Use care when handling dry ice, and wear dry, heavy gloves to avoid injury.

▪  Thawed food can usually be eaten if it is still “refrigerator cold,” or re-frozen if it still contains ice crystals.

▪  Eggs and other foods need to be stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly below. Do not eat foods that may have spoiled.

For more information on hurricane preparedness and safety, the public can call the MSDH toll-free at 1-866-HLTHY4U (1-866-458-4948) or visit


There’s a 60-percent chance of showers along the Coast on Sunday with a high of 84 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Jackson.