Nate moving toward Gulf Coast with Alabama in its crosshairs

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Undated (WTVY)- Hurricane Nate will move inland late Saturday or early Sunday along the northern Gulf Coast and race quickly across Alabama as a tropical storm.

"Alabama will be on the east side of the storm, which is the most dangerous and has the highest impact,” State Meteorologist Jim Stefkovich told the website Baldwin and Mobile Counties may be most affected.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border near Pensacola.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Pensacola to Indian Pass, Florida including inland areas.

Counties in the WTVY viewing area included in the warning area are Walton, Bay, Gulf, Holmes, Washington and Okaloosa in Florida and Coffee, Dale, Geneva, and Covington in Alabama.

Gov. Kay Ivey declared a State of Emergency Friday and said the Alabama National Guard will respond if needed.

Public beaches are closed in many areas, events canceled, and casinos along the Mississippi coast planned to close at 5 p.m. Saturday. A posting on the Golden Nugget website predicts the casino would be shut down for only a short period of time.

In Bonifay, the annual Northwest Florida Championship Rodeo was cut short because of Nate. The National Peanut Festival Pageant was moved forward several hours Saturday.

The effects of the storm may not be as significant regarding rainfall since is moving at a rapid clip—about 25 miles per hour. By Sunday evening the storm, likely downgraded to a depression by then, could be over Tennessee.

The biggest dangers in Southeast Alabama will likely come from locally heavy rainfall and the possibility of tornadoes. Downed power lines are also possible with tropical storm force winds, especially in western Wiregrass counties.