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UPDATE 6-New Orleans and Gulf Coast hunker down as Hurricane Nate makes landfall

landfall@ (Adds hurricane making landfall, changes in storm warnings)

NEW ORLEANS, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Hurricane Nate made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River as a Category 1 storm with winds of 85 miles per hour on Saturday evening, threatening parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama with torrential rain and flooding.

Nate, the fourth major storm to strike the United States in less than two months, killed at least 30 people in Central America before entering the warm waters of the Gulf and bearing down on the U.S. South.

The hurricane warning for New Orleans had been changed to a tropical storm warning. A hurricane warning remained in effect for the Gulf Coast from Grand Isle Louisiana to the Alabama-Florida border, according to the National Weather Service.

Were in the fight now. The storm is on us, Landrieu told reporters at a briefing earlier Saturday afternoon, adding that conditions were expected to rapidly deteriorate.

Nate had earlier approached the mouth of the Mississippi River at 4 p.m. Central time, moving north-northwest at 23 mph (37 kph), the NHC said.

(Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee, Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Oswaldo Rivas in Managua, Erwin Seba and Gary McWilliams in Houston; Editing by Matthew Lewis, Bill Rigby and Diane Craft)