1 tropical storm churns in Gulf, 2nd disbands in Caribbean

1 tropical storm churns in Gulf, 2nd disbands in Caribbean”

An area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico, north of the Yucatan Peninsula is likely to organize into a tropical storm within the next 24 hours.

Bret is forecast to weaken and become a tropical depression by Wednesday.

The Louisiana National Guard dispatched high water vehicles and helicopters into flood-prone areas. The state says FEMA is moving 125,000 meals and 200,000 liters of water into Louisiana.

At the Escatawpa Hollow Campground in MS, on the Alabama state line, owner Larry Godfrey was prepared for flooding that would just add to the woes of a rainy spring. Forecasts said the system could dump a few inches to more than 10 inches, depending on its development and path.

City and county governments on Mississippi's coast are handing out sandbags.

Godfrey and his wife live in a house on stilts, but he says water could get under his house. He says he will shut off power to campsites and tie up picnic tables. The NHC said those living in areas stretching from the central Texas coast to the western Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress of Cindy. Bret had degenerated into a tropical wave by Tuesday afternoon. Authorities in various coastal Louisiana and MS communities handed out sandbags for areas along rivers and bayous.

Already some flooding from outlying rain bands was reported on Alabama's Dauphin Island and flood control locks and gates were being closed along Louisiana's bayou-marbled coast as Cindy hovered almost stationary - still well offshore. Double red flags snapped in the wind on the public beach at Gulf Shores in her state, warning visitors to stay out of the pounding surf.

Other weather threats associated with this storm include the possibility of tornadoes.

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Bands of heavy rain are coming through as far east as the Florida Panhandle.

Residents will see those scattered showers and storms developing especially over the second half of the day with a few isolated showers in the morning, Gilmore said. But, remember, the National Hurricane Center did say we would have a busier-than-normal season this year, and it looks like it may be starting out that way. It had top sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (75 kph). The Hurricane Hunters are investigating the system this afternoon, although tropical storm force wind gusts are already occurring in a large band of rain east of the center (see graphic).

A tropical storm watch is also in effect on the upper Texas coast from west of High Island to San Luis Pass.

"Severe weather is not expected", Gilmore said.

Coastal Louisiana is under a tropical storm warning. It is expected to move over Trinidad and the eastern coast of Venezuela tonight and early Tuesday.

Small-craft advisories over open seas could be issued as early as Monday night, the NWS says.

The warning is in effect from Cameron, Louisiana, to Intracoastal City. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says some slight strengthening is possible before the system reaches the coast, either late Wednesday or Wednesday night.

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