Hurricane Nate sped through the Gulf Coast overnight as a Category 1 storm, knocking out power for more than 100,000 customers across the region and causing scattered flooding, but it was not as devastating as they expected and quickly lost force as it moved inland.
The first hurricane to make landfall in Mississippi since Katrina in 2005 was a tropical depression by the time it pushed northward into Alabama and toward Georgia with heavy rain.
What was left of Nate continued to bring areas of heavy rain and gusty winds to parts of the Southeast Sunday, and it was expected to push through the Northeast on Monday. Any remaining rain will move off the New England coast by Monday night.
Nate had made its second landfall as a Category 1 storm around 1:30 a.m. ET Sunday along the Gulf Coast near Biloxi, Mississippi with maximum winds of 85 mph, slamming some Mississippi and Alabama communities with a storm surge of between four to five feet.
Nate made its first landfall Saturday night as a Category 1 storm near the mouth of the Mississippi River on the southeastern Louisiana coast.
Officials in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida were well-prepared for Nate's arrival, however, with its governors declaring states of emergency and mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders.
Even though Nate's wrath was not as terrible as expected, more than 100,000 customers across Alabama and Mississippi were without power as of 6 a.m. ET. In Alabama, 87,000 customers were without power, while 46,487 customers in Mississippi were without power.
Power lines were down in some communities, and in Grand Bay, Alabama, for example, power lines caught fire.
Power Pole on fire and lines down, Cunningham Rd in front of GB Middle School. AL Power has been notified, no ETA, very busy! pic.twitter.com/IOabZz1njq— Grand Bay Fire (@GrandBayFire) October 8, 2017
As of Sunday evening, according to The Associated Press, Alabama Power said it had restored power to more than 64,000 customers, with some 36,000 still in the dark; in Mississippi, utilities and cooperatives said power had been restored to more than 21,000 customers.
Nate was the first hurricane to hit Mississippi since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 -- and even before it hit, the state's residents were glad that it was not predicted to be of the same scale.
"We left for Katrina, but we're going to ride this one out," Ed Nodhturft told the AP from his Ocean Springs, Mississippi, home before the storm hit.
He was hosting an impromptu family reunion after several relatives who were staying at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi were forced to leave the hotel and seek refuge at his home.
Massachusetts native John Adams, who lives on Belle Fontaine Beach, a narrow strip of land between the Mississippi Sound and a coastal marsh, told the AP, "This is my first hurricane. So far, it's kind of a fizzle."
Ahead of Nate's landfall, the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama all issued stern warnings to residents.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on Thursday and warned residents to prepare for heavy rain, storm surge and high winds.
"No one should take this storm lightly," Edwards said at a press conference Friday. "We do want people to be very, very cautious and to not take this storm for granted."
In New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu had warned that some areas outside of the levee protection system could see a 7-to-11-foot storm surge, and he initially ordered a curfew for the city.
But the National Weather Service on Saturday evening cancelled the city's hurricane warning and Landrieu ordered the curfew be lifted. By Saturday night, the rain had passed.