Oil platforms shut as storm churns through Gulf

The Caernarvon floodgate closes in St. Bernard Parish before the arrival of Tropical Storm Nate in Caernarvon, La., Friday, Oct. 6, 2017. Many fisherman and crab trappers were allowed to dock their boats inside the floodgate at the St. Bernard Parish line before 1 p.m., Friday. (Matthew Hinton/The Advocate via AP)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – More than 40 percent of manned oil- and gas-producing platforms in the Gulf of Mexico have been evacuated, according to an update from the Interior Department, as Hurricane Nate churns toward the U.S. mainland.

The Department said Saturday that workers were evacuated from 312 of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf.

Crews also have been taken off 13 of 20 manned drilling rigs and other rigs have been moved out of the storm’s path.

About one-fifth of U.S. oil is produced in the Gulf. The platforms mostly avoided Hurricane Harvey in late August.

Nate is speeding north-northwest over the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasters say the hurricane is expected to make landfall Saturday night along the central U.S. Gulf Coast – likely with Category 2 strength.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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