JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Hurricane Nate is expected to make its way to the Coast within hours, and officials are warning Jackson County residents to take precautions.
The hurricane is moving quickly toward the east side of Jackson County. It is expected to reach the Coast around 11 p.m. At this time, Nate has not reached a category 2 status.
In a press conference Saturday afternoon, Gov. Phil Bryant urged residents to look out for themselves and stay off the roads.
"This is ours. The first 72 hours is Mississippi," said Bryant. "We know about storms in the nations because we've been through so many. I don't want rescuers and law enforcers in 80 mph winds in the middle of the night trying to get people out of their homes because they didn't want to leave."
Seven to 11-feet or more of life-threatening storm surge is expected to impact the coastal areas of Mississippi, leading to extreme-level impacts.
Three Jackson County shelters are currently open, and a curfew is in effect from 7 p.m. - 7 a.m.
Those who live in low-lying areas will flood and have roughly four hours to leave. Boat and rescue teams are ready and prepared to assist, however, officials are issuing a stern warning to those who chose not to evacuate: Do not wait until the last minute. First responders are not going to risk their lives for residents who choose not to evacuate.
"We will be strong and we will rebuild. We are Mississippi strong, but we need to be Mississippi smart," said officials.
Residents are encouraged to check on the elderly and shut in. Shelter transportation is available to those in need.
"Be smart, be prepared to be self-sufficient for 72 hours," officials urged.
Additionally, Gov. Bryant noted that police are prepared to protect evacuated homes. Residents who do not have a valid ID to show as a proof of address will be turned around.
. The Jackson County Animal Shelter will be staged at each shelter to board pets for people who evacuate.