Louisiana Orders Evacuation, Alabama Declares State of Emergency, as Karen Approaches

This image provided by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Karen taken late Thursday night Oct. 3, 2013. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said late Thursday that Karen was about 340 miles (547 kilometers) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) with higher gusts. The storm was moving north-northwest at 10 mph (16 kph). It could be at or near hurricane strength late Friday and early Saturday, forecasters said, with the center near the coast on Saturday. (AP Photo/NOAA)

NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Officials on the Louisiana barrier island of Grand Isle are calling for a mandatory evacuation as Tropical Storm Karen approaches. The National Hurricane Center says Karen is weakening but still ready to become the first named storm to hit the U.S. in what has been a quiet hurricane season so far. A hurricane watch stretches from Grand Isle to west of Destin, Fla. Forecasters expect Karen to produce rainfall of 3 to 6 inches through Sunday night, with isolated totals up to 10 inches possible.

MONTGOMERY , AL– Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on Friday declared a statewide State of Emergency in anticipation of heavy rains and high winds likely to result from Tropical Storm Karen. With landfall of a tropical system, tornadoes are possible. Parts of Alabama could be placed under tornado watches or warnings.

“Residents and businesses along Alabama’s coast should monitor weather conditions and be prepared for whatever this tropical storm may bring,” Governor Bentley said. “By declaring this state of emergency, I am mobilizing the resources our communities need as the storm approaches.”

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