Tropical Storm Debby Threatens Louisiana & Florida

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    via CNN

    Tropical Storm Debby crept up the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday, threatening to bring flooding and tornadoes to parts of the Gulf coast.

    As of 5 a.m. ET, Debby was about 165 miles southeast of the Mississippi River delta, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The storm carried maximum sustained winds of 50 mph as it chugged north at 3 mph.

    A tropical storm warning was in effect for coastal Louisiana from the mouth of the Pearl River westward to Morgan City, the weather agency said. New Orleans is not included in the warning area.

    “The combination of a storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters,” the hurricane center said. Floodwaters in parts of coastal Mississippi and Louisiana could reach 2 to 4 feet deep.

    Debby is also expected to dump 3 to 6 inches of rain from southern Louisiana to the Florida panhandle, with up 10 inches in isolated areas, the weather agency said.

    In addition, “isolated tornadoes are possible” over parts of west-central and southwestern Florida on Sunday.

    Nine oil and gas production platforms have been evacuated, equivalent to 1.5% of the 596 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, the federal government said Saturday. One of 70 rigs was evacuated.

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