STRANGE BUT TRUE: Dramatic scene as storm surge floods Biloxi casino car park

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) – Hurricane Nate brought a burst of flooding and power outages to the U.S. Gulf Coast before weakening rapidly Sunday, sparing the region the kind of catastrophic damage left by a series of hurricanes that hit the southern U.S. and Caribbean in recent weeks.

Nate – the first hurricane to make landfall in Mississippi since Katrina in 2005 – quickly lost strength, with its winds diminishing to a tropical depression as it pushed northward into Alabama and toward Georgia with heavy rain. It was a Category 1 hurricane when it came ashore outside Biloxi early Sunday, its second landfall after initially hitting southeastern Louisiana on Saturday evening.

The storm surge from the Mississippi Sound littered Biloxi’s main beachfront highway with debris and flooded a casino’s lobby and parking structure overnight.

By dawn, however, Nate’s receding floodwaters didn’t reveal any obvious signs of widespread damage in the city where Hurricane Katrina had leveled thousands of beachfront homes and businesses.

No storm-related deaths or injuries were immediately reported.

Police: Dog on highway didn’t want to leave dead dog’s side

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Police in New Jersey say they had to coax a German shepherd on a busy interstate to leave a dead pit bull that it was found lying next to.

New Jersey state police said that troopers responded Thursday morning to a report of two dogs on the shoulder of Interstate 280 in Newark.

The troopers say the pit bull was dead when they arrived. They say the German shepherd didn’t want to leave its side, but they were able to coax it into a trooper’s car.

Authorities say neither dog was wearing a collar or any identification. The German shepherd was given to a dog rescue.

It wasn’t clear how the dog died. The case remains under investigation.

Have wife will carry: Couples vie in wife-carrying contest

NEWRY, Maine (AP) – It was a messy slog but a Virginia couple reaped the rewards of cash – and beer – in the North American Wife Carrying Championship.

Jake and Kirsten Barney, from Lexington, Virginia, finished first Saturday on an alpine course made all the more difficult because Jake was carrying his wife on his back when he trudged through water and jumped over logs.

The couple placed second last year.

The event is based on the Finland legend of “Ronkainen the Robber,” whose gang pillaged villages and took the women.

These days, men usually carry women, but they don’t have to be married and the couple can choose who carries whom.

The Barneys won five times Kirsten Barney’s weight in cash – or $630 – and 12 cases of beer.