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Photo courtesy NHC

Hurricane Nate is fast — the fastest, even. 

The speedy storm had been tracking at more than 20 mph as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, and its forward speed of 28 mph over a 12-hour stretch on Saturday was the fastest ever in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Weather Service. 

The high speed of the storm marked good news in terms of rainfall totals, but it left the Gulf Coast rushing to prepare for a storm that was projected to strengthen to Category 2 before it made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River. 

The storm's winds were recorded at up to 90 mph as of 4 p.m. on Saturday. 

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined other officials to warn that because of the "unprecedented" speed, residents should be prepared for "rapidly deteriorating" conditions. The city had instituted a curfew from 7 p.m. Saturday through 7 a.m. on Sunday.

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