A weakened Tropical Storm Karen is likely to make landfall in southeast Louisiana over Saturday night, bringing winds of 20 to 30 mph and around 2 inches of rain to the New Orleans area, meteorologists said.
The storm’s maximum sustained winds were 40 mph as it moved at 7 mph toward Terrebonne Parish, according to the 11 a.m. update from the National Weather Service. The forecast track called for the storm to pass over land around 7 a.m. Sunday near Houma as a tropical depression, re-enter the Gulf of Mexico and make a second landfall around 7 p.m. Sunday near Gulf Shores, Ala.
New Orleans remains under a tropical-storm watch, and city officials declared a state of emergency Friday as a precautionary measure, but Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he did not expect major problems from the storm. On the other hand, he said, every storm brings its own issues.
“They don’t always follow rhyme or reason, and they have their own personalities,” Landrieu said Friday. “I think that we’re going to be OK. I feel fairly comfortable given what we’re seeing out there that this should be a blip on our radar screens. Having said that, everyone needs to pay attention and be vigilant, because these things have minds of their own.”
To see full video of his Friday news conference, click below.