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Tropical Storm Karen Gets Weak As It Approaches Louisiana

Tropical Storm KarenUPDATED NEW ORLEANS (October 5, 2013) –

                                 LATEST WARNINGS AND WATCHES

KAREN EXPECTED TO MOVE OVER SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA TONIGHT AND EARLY SUNDAY

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Morgan City, LA. to the mouth of the Pearl River.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the entire New Orleans metropolitan area, Lake Maurepas, Lake Pontchartrain, and from east of the Pearl River to Indian Pass, Florida.

The National Weather Service lifted hurricane watches along the Gulf Coast on Friday, as Tropical Storm Karen ran the gamut from a potential Louisiana-bound  possible hurricane with 65 mph winds, to a slight change in course, to stationary, and now appears to be weakening – with winds of up to only 40 mph – as it gets closer to land.

A 10:00 AM advisory today indicated the storm was hesitating about 180 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving north at 7 mph, with a slow turn northeast expected Saturday night, then another, faster turn east-northeast on Sunday night and Monday.

UPDATED NEW ORLEANS (October 3, 2013) — 2013 will likely go down as one of the most uneventful hurricane seasons on record, but it’s not over ’til November 30th. Thursday evening, forecasters were predicting that Tropical Storm Karen could possibly become a Category 1 hurricane as it nears the coast of Louisiana Saturday morning, and make a direct near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

At 10PM, Karen was located about 340 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River, The National Weather Service said Karen continues to move slowly northwest at 10 mph, with winds of 65 mph

Along the Gulf Coast, high winds, power outages, along with storm surges of anywhere from 2-5 feet are expected in some places, and a state of emergency has been declared by the Governors of Louisiana and Mississippi, while Governor Scott declared a state of emergency in 18 Florida counties.

Tropical Storm Karen (photo courtesy noaa)
In Alabama, Governor Robert Bentley is encouraging residents to be prepared. “Our state agencies are monitoring the track of Tropical Storm Karen, and Alabama families should do the same,” Governor Bentley said in a statement earlier today. “Understand this storm can affect people inland as well, not just on the Coast.

In Louisiana, a Tropical Storm Watch was issued for St. Tammany, Ascension, Livingston, assumption, St. James. St. John the Baptist, Upper Lafourche, St. Charles, Upper Jefferson, Orleans, Upper Plaquemines, Upper St. Bernard. Upper , lower Terrebonne, lower Lafourche and Southern Tangipahoa.

A Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch was issued in Louisiana for lower Jefferson, lower Plaquemines, lower St. Bernard, and for portions of Southeast Louisiana and Mississippi Coastal Waters, and a Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties in Mississippi. The Hurricane Watch extends west all the way to Destin, Florida.

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FEMA has activated a Liaison Team embedded at the National Hurricane Center in Miami and, in a statement, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said “Gulf Coast residents in potentially impacted areas should take steps now to be prepared and follow the direction of local officials.”

The amount of resources re-activated by FEMA in the midst of an ongoing government shutdown would depend on the magnitude of projected need. CNN reports the about 86% of the agency’s workers were furloughed because of the shutdown

On August 28 last year Tropical Storm Isaac brought a storm surge that caused at least nine deaths, five in Louisiana and two each in Mississippi and Florida.

                                                      DEFINITIONS

A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA. A WATCH IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 48 HOURS BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS, CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA…GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.