Tropical Storm Bret forms; Cindy may be brewing

Tropical Storm Bret forms; Cindy may be brewing

Tropical Storm Bret forms; Cindy may be brewing

At worst, the storm could flood neighborhoods outside the city's levee system and cause flash flooding even in protected areas.

Coastal Louisiana and Texas are under a tropical storm warning, and forecasters say the Alabama and MS coasts could get as much as 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain by Thursday night. The system is moving toward the northwest near 9 miles per hour (15 km/h), and this general motion should continue through Wednesday, with a turn toward the north expected Wednesday night or Thursday.

Tropical Storm Warnings are in place along the coasts of far eastern Texas, all of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the panhandle of Florida until Friday.

Heavy rains and rough surf will hit the three nearby countries in the coming days before the storm system fizzles.

Forecasters are advising those in the watch area to prepare for winds as high as almost 60 miles per hour and areas of locally heavy rain and flooding.

Bret was located about 185 miles (295 kilometers east-southeast of Curacao) late Tuesday morning.

The southern Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are under a tropical storm watch. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), the largest privately owned crude storage terminal in the United States, suspended vessel offloading operations ahead of the storm, but said it expected no interruptions to deliveries from its hub in Clovelly, Louisiana.

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Tropical Storm Bret has unleashed heavy flooding, knocked out power and ripped off several roofs in some areas of Trinidad &Tobago as it swirls west across the southern Caribbean region.

"The disturbance is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches over southeastern Louisiana, southern MS, southern Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle through Thursday morning", the NHC said in a statement. It was flooded as a result of rainfall from Tropical Storm Bret.

Eventually the storm will track north into Arkansas and the Tennessee Valley and jog to the east.

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. declared a severe weather alert for the southern part of its electric grid, including Louisiana and Mississippi. Wind gusts of 40 to 60 miles per hour are possible. The rainy weather will continue through Friday with widespread rain and thunderstorms expected.

However, this new naming from the National Hurricane Center will basically allow the local weather offices to issue advisories for coastal locations before a tropical system is named.

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