Louisiana is preparing for danger this weekend, declaring a state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Nate which has already been blamed for 22 deaths in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
States of emergency were declared yesterday both at state level by governor John Bel Edwards and in the vulnerable city of New Orleans by its mayor, Mitch Landrieu, as people battened down the hatches for the direct hit from Nate expected Sunday.
The governor said 1,300 National Guard troops are being mobilised, with 15 going to New Orleans to monitor the fragile pumping system there, ABC News reports.
Edwards urged residents to ready for rainfall, storm surge and severe winds – and to be where they intend to hunker down by "dark on Saturday".
The governor said Nate is forecast to move quickly and drop "tremendous amounts of rain" on the state.
The situation is complicated by the fact that many people are still living in mobile housing units after floods last year, which are dangerous in high winds and floods.
Photograph: No stranger to danger: Port Sulphur, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (Wikimedia Commons)