By Associated Press
MEXICO CITY (AP) - The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Nate is heading toward the central Gulf of Mexico and is likely to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast over the weekend.
The Miami-based center says the storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (128.74 kph) and was likely to strengthen over the Gulf of Mexico, reaching the U.S. Gulf coast near New Orleans late Saturday.
Louisiana and Mississippi officials declared states of state of emergency and Louisiana ordered some people to evacuate coastal areas and barrier islands ahead of its expected landfall Saturday night or early Sunday. Evacuations began at some offshore oil platforms in the Gulf.
Mississippi's government said it would open 11 evacuation shelters in areas away from the immediate coast, with buses available for people who can't drive.
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