BRAITHWAITE, La. (AP) - Tropical Storm Karen is weakening as it approaches the Gulf Coast, but forecasters are keeping tropical storm watches and warnings in effect.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said late Friday that Karen was about 205 miles (330 kilometers) south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with maximum sustained winds that have decreased to 45 mph (72 kph). It was moving north-northwest at 7 mph (11 kph).
A hurricane watch was dropped Friday afternoon. A tropical storm warning was in effect from Morgan City, La., eastward to the mouth of the Pearl River. A tropical storm watch stretched from the mouth of the Pearl River eastward to Indian Pass, Fla. and includes the New Orleans area.
Along with strong winds, the storm was forecast to produce rainfall of 3 to 6 inches through Sunday night.
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