AP Wire

SoLA braces for tropical storm, heavy rain

by The Associated Press

The northern rim of the Gulf of Mexico, including all of South Louisiana, under tropical storm warning.

National Weather Service

Forecasters say a tropical storm warning has now been extended further westward for a disturbance in the central Gulf and it now covers an area from High Island, Texas, to the mouth of the Pearl River between Louisiana and Mississippi.

The National Weather Service also says the biggest threat from the disturbance is the likely heavy rainfall over wide areas of the northern rim of the Gulf of Mexico.

At 11 a.m. EDT, the center said disturbance No. 3 was centered about 265 miles (430 kilometer) south of Morgan City, Louisiana — or about 355 miles (565 kilometers southeast of Galveston, Texas. It’s maximum sustained winds are at 40 mph (65 kph) and the storm is moving toward the northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).

The tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere in the warning area in the next 24 to 36 hours.

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

Coastal residents are already feeling the effects of the system: Police say flooding already is being reported on Dauphin Island south of Mobile, Alabama. The main road leading to the island’s narrow western end is partially covered with water, and the city is moving vehicles and equipment to higher ground.

Red flags are flying on the main public beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a warning for people to stay out of the water. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency Tuesday morning because of the flooding threat.

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