HURRICANE NATE TO MAKE LANDFALL TONIGHT

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- The 81st Training Wing commander has directed the base to enter Hurricane Condition 1 status.

HURCON 1 means the base is 12 hours out from forecasted 50 knot winds.

Hurricane Nate is currently projected to make landfall approximately 10 nautical miles East of Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, as a Category Two hurricane around midnight. Residents on the Gulf Coast can expect to feel the effects of the storm starting as early as Saturday evening and throughout Sunday.

“The safety of our Airmen and their families is paramount,” said Col. Debra Lovette, 81st Training Wing commander. “We can replace things, we can’t replace people.”

Current forecasts at Keesler AFB predict six to eight inches of rain and sustained winds of approximately 74mph.

Base officials have not ordered an evacuation of Keesler personnel, but are advising everyone to remain inside beginning at 8 p.m. and restrict all movement during the storm.

During periods of sustained winds over 50 knots, the base gates will close to ensure the safety of our security forces Airmen who man the gates.

The Base Exchange and Commissary will remain open until 5 p.m. today to accommodate last minute preparations.

All non-prior service students are to report back to their dormitory by 5 p.m. for accountability.

Mississippi officials anticipate power outages as a result of the hurricane. Ensure your disaster preparedness kit is stocked appropriately to keep you and your family safe as teams work to restore power.

Keesler has been preparing the base through evacuation of aircraft, hardening of several base facilities with sandbags, ensuring all base personnel and dependents are accounted for and re-stocking items for hurricane disaster kits.

Once the hurricane has passed, check in with your family, work centers and friends to let them know you are safe. Be cautious if you go outside or need to drive. There could be fallen debris or downed power lines on the roads. Avoid walking or driving through flood waters and avoid Beach Boulevard in Biloxi until crews have removed any sand drifts from the road.

For the most up to date information on base preparations, limited services and closures:

a. Download the Keesler Air Force Base official app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to be notified of the latest updates related to weather, flooding and evacuation.

b. Like the Keesler Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/keeslerafb), follow Keesler Twitter page (https://twitter.com/keeslerafb), and bookmark the Keesler main webpage (www.keesler.af.mil) to get the latest weather info.

c. Contact the Air Force Personnel Command 24-hour “Hot Line” 1-800-435-9941 for additional information on base activities.