New Orleans and Gulf Coast brace for approaching storm

The storm has already claimed 22 lives in Central America.
3:07 | 10/06/17

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Transcript for New Orleans and Gulf Coast brace for approaching storm
We are a hurricane weary nation and yet tonight another powerful storm headed for the U.S. Nate is speeding up and gaining strength. Right now heading into the warm waters of the gulf. States of emergency across the gulf. The system deadly before arriving. 22 lives lost. Preparations under way at this hour and there are now some mandatory evacuations under way. Let's get to ginger zee with us tonight because this will not only hit the gulf but will travel through the country. Up through the northeast. We have got to watch for flash flooding all the way through Pennsylvania. The peninsula is showing the storm east. Flying at 21 miles per hour. Hurricane warning in place for New Orleans, gulf port, biloxi extending to inland there. The brunt will be felt Saturday night through Sunday morning. That's when it is going to make landfall and speeds up through the Ohio valley into the northeast and out by Tuesday. But before that, the impact storm surge, four to six feet. The bay, gulf shores up to eight feet and ten inches of rain. Tracking it into the weekend. Thank you. In the crosshairs of this storm New Orleans and the low lying cities along the gulf dangerous flooding and storm surge is likely and this question tonight. Are the pumps ready in new Orleans? ABC's Steve osunsami is there. Reporter: Across the gulf tonight, this is the state of emergency and they're racing to get ready for this storm. We're going to flood. In New Orleans a dozen of the city's drainage purpomps aren't working. Teams are clearing drains and parts of Jefferson parishes, more than 1,000 families forced to live their homes. One of the greatest threats to this storm is not necessarily interior rain, but storm surge. Reporter: Billy Rost is leaving tonight. He's moved everything of the ground. You don't know what the surge is going to do. If you don't pick it up you lose it. This is like a gamble. Reporter: Three feet of storm surge and he's fine. Six feet, he loses everything. He's expecting five. You can only do so much. You can't run from water, baby. Reporter: The storm has already killed. At least 11 dead in Nicaragua, and eight in Costa Rica. Dozens more missing after mudslides washed away homes, and Steve joins us live tonight. Steve, you were telling us those pumps can pull out an inch of rain in an hour? Reporter: Yes. But that's just during the first hour. After the ability of a pumping station drops to about half an inch an hour assuming all the pumps are working which would surprise just about everyone in the city. What that means is that if several inches of rain fall over New Orleans all at once, this city will still flood even with all of the pumps working properly. We are thinking about that city and every city along the gulf. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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