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Tropical Storm Karen Heads For U.S. Gulf Coast

Chrystal Li |
October 4, 2013 | 3:45 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Tropical Storm Karen, NASA
Tropical Storm Karen, NASA
A weakened Tropical Storm Karen is unlikely to become a hurricane, but communities along the U.S. Gulf Coast should still expect heavy rain and winds this weekend, experts said Friday.

The National Hurricane Center cancelled their hurricane watch Friday afternoon after the storm’s winds dropped from 65 mph to 50 mph. A storm must sustain winds of at least 74 mph to be considered a hurricane.

Despite the reduced threat, officials in the southern coastal states have continued to prepare for potential damages from Tropical Storm Karen, which is expected to reach land by Saturday night. The governors of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi have each declared a state of emergency for all or part of their respective states. Local authorities in Louisiana have additionally ordered mandatory evacuations in low regions that could be vulnerable to flooding, Reuters reports.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has taken precautions for the impending storm as well, bringing back some workers who were furloughed due to the government shutdown, according to CNN. FEMA also recalled its Miami-based Hurricane Liaison Team and several other officials.

Tropical Storm Karen is expected to first hit the area between southeastern Louisiana and the Florida panhandle. It will be the second storm to reach the U.S. this season, after Tropical Storm Andrea in early June.

Read more about Tropical Storm Karen at CNN.
Reach Executive Producer Chrystal Li here.



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