NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Tropical Storm Edouard took aim at the coasts of Texas and Louisiana on Monday, threatening to pick up strength from warm Gulf waters and gain near-hurricane speeds over the next 24 hours.
Emergency teams were activated as Gulf residents prepared for a second strong storm in less than a month, although Edouard is forecast to hit a different stretch of the Texas coast or Louisiana than Hurricane Dolly did last month.
Edouard was expected to make landfall somewhere in Texas or southwest Louisiana on Tuesday morning. It was moving west near 8 mph, and forecasters said the warm waters of the Gulf provided the right conditions for the storm to intensify and approach hurricane strength with winds of 75 mph or more.
A tropical storm warning was in effect from the mouth of the Mississippi River westward to San Luis Pass in Texas. A hurricane watch was in effect from west of Intracoastal City, La. to Port O'Connor, Texas.
Edouard had maximum sustained winds near 50 mph with higher gusts at 8 a.m. EDT Monday. The storm's center was located about 80 miles south-southwest of Grand Isle, La., and 285 miles east-southeast of Galveston, Texas.
Isolated tornadoes were possible over parts of southern Louisiana and the upper Texas coast later Monday, according to the hurricane center. Rainfall of 2 to 4 inches was expected in coastal Louisiana and southeast Texas, with isolated amounts up to 6 inches in Texas. Tides of 2 to 4 feet above normal levels were expected in parts of the warning area.
In Louisiana's Terrebonne Parish, emergency director Jerry Richard said he had called in staff members to determine if the parish's low-lying areas could be affected by flooding.