Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency as his state prepares for a direct hit from Tropical Storm Nate, possibly as a hurricane.
The governor said 1,300 National Guard troops are being mobilized, with 15 headed to New Orleans to monitor the fragile pumping system there.
With forecasts projecting landfall in southeast Louisiana Sunday morning, 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."
Louisiana's governor says Nate is forecast to move quickly, rather than stall, and drop tremendous amounts of rain on the state. State officials hope that means New Orleans Won't run into problems with its pumps being able to handle the water.
Edwards warned, however, against underestimating the storm.
A U.S. federal agency says oil and gas companies have begun evacuating production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico in anticipation of Tropical Storm Nate.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's New Orleans office said in a news release that as of midday Thursday, six production platforms, out of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf, had been evacuated. No drilling rigs were evacuated, but one moveable rig was taken out of the storm's path.
The agency estimated less than 15 percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in, which equates to 254,607 barrels of oil per day.
Nate formed in the Caribbean Sea Thursday and was expected to be in the Gulf by Saturday morning.