Hurricane Nate aftermath: 6 inches of rain in Mobile, 6 foot storm surges, minor damage

Hurricane Nate brought up to 6 inches of rain in areas of Mobile and Covington County in southeastern Alabama, with wind gusts reaching 65 mph at the Mobile Regional Airport.

The National Weather Service in Mobile, in preliminary estimates from the Category 1 storm, reported storm surges of 5-1/2 to 6 feet above normal tide along coastal areas. Water Street in downtown Mobile and the Spanish Fort Causeway were both flooded on Sunday after Hurricane Nate raced inland.

The weather service will release a final report on Hurricane Nate sometime later this week.

Don Shepherd, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Mobile, said Monday that he’s gathered from several sources that Hurricane Nate may have been fastest-moving storm ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico.

Nate made its initial landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River in southeast Louisiana, with winds of 85 mph, according to the hurricane center. The storm made its second U.S. landfall near Biloxi, Miss., shortly after midnight Sunday.

Structural damage has been relatively minor in Mobile and Baldwin counties. A tornado was reported in West Mobile, and had maximum winds of 75 mph. It was on the ground for a short period of time.

It touched down near Portside Court and lifted near the intersection of Airport Boulevard and Border Circle West. A large billboard near Airport Boulevard was knocked down, and a nearby car dealership had suffered damage.

Damage was reported to piers in Fairhope, Dauphin Island and Point Clear. Damage was also report along Dog River in Mobile County.

Shepherd said that West Mobile experienced the strongest wind guests. He said radar estimates showed that certain areas of Baldwin County only experienced wind gusts of 40 mph. Sustained winds of near 50 mph were reported in Dauphin Island, he said.

Nate had gathered speed on Saturday as it approached the U.S., and forecasters were beginning to predict the potential for 100 mph wind gusts in coastal Alabama.

Shepherd said the storm weakened as it made landfall. "It tried to organize again, but it didn’t get the organization to make it a Category 2 storm," he said.

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