Tropical Storm Threatens Gulf Coast, Louisiana in State of Emergency

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National Hurricane Center

Called TD 13 for now, the tropical depression is likely to become a tropical storm

There’s a new storm to watch, this time threatening New Orleans and surrounding areas.

Louisiana’s governor declared a state of emergency as the brewing storm is feared to bring flash flooding. Experts are saying areas along the Gulf coast could be hit with 20 inches of rain.

(MORE: Eight Hurricane Tracking Apps to Keep Tabs on the Storm)

The tropical depression is expected to be upgraded to a tropical storm, which will be named Lee, making it the 12th named storm this hurricane season. A tropical storm warning has been issued for parts of Louisiana, including low-lying New Orleans, and Mississippi and Texas. Oil companies Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell have taken the precautionary measure of shutting down offshore platforms.

But the rains could be good news for Texas, which has been suffering from a severe drought.

The East Coast is still recovering from the flooding caused by Hurricane Irene, and nearly 900,000 homes and businesses still have no electricity. Hurricane Katia hovering over the Atlantic has also been a looming threat; it had weakened back to a tropical storm but forecasters think it will strengthen into a hurricane again.

Each Atlantic hurricane season averages about 11 storms, a number that has already been reached now, only halfway through the season — the prediction of a busy hurricane season looks to be turning into reality.

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