Hurricane Nate came and left the Gulf Coast as a category one storm. On Sunday, as day light broke, locals and visitors were able to get a better look at what the storm was capable of.
Hurricane Nate hit the coast of Mississippi close to midnight on Saturday, and as seen on video, it was powerful – pushing nearly five feet of storm surge into the lower level of the Golden Nugget Casino.
“You could feel the wind. It was coming from the north at first and as soon as it switched to the east it started blowing from Biloxi Bay which is about 200 yards away, up over and eventually to where we’re standing," Vice President of Resort Operations Scott King said.
King said the lower deck is just one of three entrances to the casino from the ground level. And he says he wants to be clear, it was the only major damage on the property.
“We have a lot of cleanup to our ground level. Where we’re standing is actually where that footage was shot. As the viewers can see, if you look up right here there’s an escalator. Very few people park down here," King said. “It’s important that people keep the context right. Basically we had a 4 to 5 foot storm surge where I’m standing and that’s exactly what we thought we were going to have. And that’s the exact reason why we built the casino 27 feet of the ground, so that when we have five feet of water come into our base floor it doesn’t hurt anything.”
As quickly as Hurricane Nate hit, it just as quickly left. Luckily, no deaths or injuries in his path in the U.S. have been reported.
King says Nate forced the gaming commission to close the casino floor hours before it hit the coast. He says one they get the "go ahead". they'll be back in full operation.
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