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Hurricane Nate won’t be as strong as Irma but can still pack a punch, forecaster says

Avondale Estates Decatur Kirkwood and East Lake Metro ATL slideshow Tucker

Hurricane Nate won’t be as strong as Irma but can still pack a punch, forecaster says

Storm track photo obtained via Google

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Storm track photo obtained via Google

A month after Hurricane Irma hit Atlanta as a tropical storm, wrecking neighborhoods, turning out the lights and closing down schools, the Atlanta area is anticipating another storm, Hurricane Nate.

Nate will be less powerful than Irma, which caused wind gusts of more than 50 miles per hour and delivered several inches of rain.

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According to Laura Belanger, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, peak gusts of wind will be 25 to 35 miles per hour for the Atlanta area and the storm could deliver 1 to 2 inches of rain. The peak wind gust period will be between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. Sunday morning, Oct. 8.

Irma, by comparison, saw the highest recorded wind gust in Atlanta clock in at 64 miles an hour, a measurement taken at the Atlanta Airport. Also, Nate is moving through the area faster than Irma did so the storm conditions won’t last as long as they did during Irma.

Belanger added that there is an increased tornado risk this time around, however.

“There is a potential with this one that we would have more of a tornado thread than we did with Irma,” she said. “[The environment is] a little more unstable. … We could have embedded storm s that produce a tornado or two. We’re note expecting a widespread outbreak, but there’s a risk.”

Forecasters are not expecting as many power outages this time around.

“We’re not expecting the widespread power outages that we saw before with Irma as it came through,” Belanger said.

The city of Decatur says it plans to conduct business as usual unless the situation changes. The city offered the following guidance to residents to help them prepare.

Preparing for Hurricane Nate

Hurricane Nate may arrive as a tropical storm in the metro Atlanta area during daylight hours on Sunday, October 8. Heavy rains and strong winds are possible and tornadoes could be a risk from Sunday into Monday, which means we could also experience downed trees and loss of power.

  • Currently, all City buildings are scheduled to open as normal and regular services provided on Monday and Tuesday. The City of Decatur does not take Columbus Day as a holiday, so unless the weather worsens,  expect solid waste to be collected on Monday and Tuesday.  If you live in the northeastern part of the City please delay setting out your recycling bins until Monday morning  so that recycling materials and bins don’t blow away or become hazards.

Important phone numbers

  • If you see hazardous or unsafe conditions in Decatur that are not life-threatening, call the non-emergency number: 404-373-6551.
  • If you are in a life-threatening situation, call 911.
  • Power outages or trees on power lines should be reported directly to Georgia Power: 1-888-891-0938.


  • Register now or update your Smart911 profile at Smart911.com. You can opt-in for severe weather and other notifications as well as create or update your Smart911 profile with any special medical concerns (such as a household member who uses medical equipment that requires electricity).
  • Make sure you have at least a three-day supply of necessities, including food, water, batteries, medicines and special items like diapers and pet food.
  • If we begin to experience heavy rain, the potential for flooding and downed trees greatly increases. We ask that you please do not park on the street if you have off street parking available, in order to keep the roadways clear for emergency vehicles.
  • Charge all cell phones and put fresh batteries in emergency radios. When contacting loved ones, a text message is more likely to get through than a phone call.
  • Secure patio and lawn furniture.
  • Download the FEMA smartphone app for additional tips and emergency information.
  • And don’t forget to be neighborly and take a few minutes to check on the seniors in your neighborhood and bring all pets inside.

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