Friday, September 2, 2011

Louisiana declares emergency as storm brews

An oil platform located in the Gulf of Mexico Three major oil companies have closed down their platforms in the Gulf in advance of the storm
Louisiana has declared a state of emergency as it prepares for a tropical depression to bring up to 15in (38cm) of rain over the weekend.
Tropical Depression 13 - to be named Lee if upgraded, as expected, to a tropical storm - is creeping north through the Gulf of Mexico.
Offshore platforms for Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell were shut down on Thursday.
While the storm could spell flooding for parts of the Gulf, it could also bring much-needed rain to Texas.
The US is still recovering from Hurricane Irene, which hit the east coast last weekend, killing more than 40 people. Nearly 900,000 homes and businesses still have no electricity.
Busy storm season The new tropical depression was packing winds of 35mph (55km/h) and centred about 225 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

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We're probably going to see tremendous rain amounts and the corresponding flooding ”
Bill Read National Hurricane Center director
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared the state of emergency on Thursday evening, saying coastal and inland areas could be hit by flash floods within 48 hours.
Tropical storm warnings are now in effect from the Texas state line to the eastern Mississippi coast.
Texas is in the grip of a severe drought and rains from the developing weather system could bring some relief.
National Hurricane Center director Bill Read said: "We've got a huge area of moisture. We've got a developing wind field.
"We're probably going to see some tremendous rain amounts and the corresponding flooding that goes with that."
Meanwhile, Hurricane Katia was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday, but was expected to regain strength as it moved westward in the Atlantic.
The Atlantic hurricane season usually brings about a dozen named storms, but Katia is already the 11th with half the season still ahead.
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