Tropical Storm Nate has been upgraded to Hurricane Nate as it makes its way toward the U.S. Gulf Coast with Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi in its path. The storm, which has already been blamed for 21 deaths in Central America, is expected to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane late Saturday night or early Sunday, prompting states of emergency and evacuations along the coast. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph early Saturday, though it is expected to strengthen as it passes over the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama have been warned to brace for dangerous storm surges of up to 5 to 9 feet. A hurricane warning is currently in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Alabama-Florida border.
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