August 4, 2008

Tropical Storm Edouard Forms in the Gulf, Heads Toward Texas Tropical Storm Edouard Forms Off Louisiana Coast

The Associated Press


Tropical Storm Edouard formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, and forecasters expected it to bring high winds and several inches of rain to the coasts of western Louisiana and eastern Texas.

Forecasters made Edouard, packing 50-mph sustained winds, the fifth tropical storm of the 2008 hurricane season.

They expected the storm to strengthen and said it could reach near-hurricane strength by the time it made landfall in Texas sometime Tuesday morning.

On Sunday night, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for the coast of western Louisiana and eastern Texas.

That means hurricane conditions are possible from Tropical Storm Edouard within the next 24 hours from Intracoastal City to Port O'Connor, Texas.

The Gulf's warm waters offer very favorable conditions for Edouard to strengthen in coming days, said Rebecca Waddington, a meteorologist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

She urged residents in the path of the storm to continue watching it and warned that tropical storms can still be very powerful.

At 10 p.m. CDT, Edouard was about 80 miles east-southeast off the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 390 miles east of Galveston, Texas, moving west at 5 mph.

While southwestern Texas still recovers from the damage of last month's Hurricane Dolly, the other end of the state's coast braced for several inches of rain and a potential storm surge.

Krista Piferrer, a spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, said Sunday that state emergency management officials were getting updates through conference calls with the National Weather Service.

"Because it might make an impact to the Texas shore, we're looking at activating resources, including search and rescue and maybe military forces," including the Texas National Guard, Piferrer said.

State emergency management officials were also conducting conference calls with officials from communities along the Texas coast, from Port O'Connor to Port Arthur, that could be affected by Edouard.

Rainfall of 1 to 2 inches was expected in coastal Louisiana. About 2 to 4 inches was possible in southeast Texas, with isolated amounts up to 6 inches.

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