Melanie Lieberman
October 06, 2017

Just weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the Caribbean, a new tropical storm is gaining strength.

Forecasters predict that Tropical Storm Nate could soon be upgraded to a hurricane — and it’s on course to hit the Gulf Coast this weekend.

On Thursday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, as did Florida Governor Rick Scott. The storm is expected to make landfall between Saturday night and early Sunday morning, before dawn.

According to USA Today, airlines have begun to waive change fees for travelers flying to and from New Orleans, as well as other cities along the Gulf Coast.

Generally speaking, the airlines (which include JetBlue, American Airlines, and United) are allowing travelers to move their flights or change their itineraries. If you are worried about Tropical Storm Nate impacting your travel plans, check directly with your carrier.

In the meantime, Tropical Storm Nate is rapidly approaching Cancún and Cozumel, where a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning are in effect, Weather.com reported. Winds have increased to 90 miles per hour near the center of the storm.

Already, Tropical Storm Nate has killed more than 20 people in Central America, where it caused intense winds, heavy rainfall, and flash flooding. According to an update from CNN, the region is still bracing for subsequent floods and mudslides in the storm's aftermath.

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