- POSTED: 05 Oct 2013 19:06
This graph is an experimental feature that tracks number of views over time.
Tropical Storm Karen weakened early Saturday as it churned off the US Gulf Coast, though forecasters warned it would still bring heavy rain across several southeastern US states.
MIAMI: Tropical Storm Karen weakened early Saturday as it churned off the US Gulf Coast, though forecasters warned it would still bring heavy rain across several southeastern US states.
The slow-moving storm was parked south of the state of Louisiana, and was not expected to make landfall until late Saturday or early Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said.
At 0900 GMT, Karen was located about 310 kilometres (195 miles) southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi river, packing sustained winds of 65 kilometres (40 miles) per hour and moving towards the northwest at 13 kilometres (eight miles) per hour.
Hurricane watches for the Gulf coastal region were cancelled overnight, but a Tropical Storm warning was in effect for a region that ran from the central coast of Louisiana east to the western gulf coast of Florida.
The area includes metropolitan New Orleans, still battered by the 2005 pounding it received from Hurricane Katrina.
"The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters," the NHC warned.
"The highest water will occur along the immediate coast, where surge will be accompanied by dangerous waves."
The storm is forecast to drop between one to three inches over the central Gulf coast and southeastern US region through late Monday. "Isolated storm total amounts of six inches are possible," the NHC said.
Florida Governor Rick Scott on Friday declared a state of emergency in 18 counties to enable the potential deployment of resources as needed.
Oil prices rose Friday on falling production as companies evacuated staff from sensitive refining and production areas along the Gulf Coast.
The main US contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November, closed at $103.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 53 cents from Thursday's closing level.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama was briefed on disaster preparations and his administration recalled emergency workers who had been told to stay home due to a government shutdown linked to a bitter budget dispute.