Tropical Storm Edouard gained speed as it moved west Monday and was expected to strengthen to a near-hurricane before making landfall somewhere in Texas or southwest Louisiana.
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.
It was moving west near 8 mph and was expected to strengthen before making landfall Tuesday morning. 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.
Southeastern Texans prepared for Edouard's impact while people farther down the Texas coast continued cleaning up the damage from Hurricane Dolly, which hit last month.
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.
Texas began activating a number of emergency teams Sunday afternoon, including calling up 1,200 Texas military forces and six UH-60 helicopters, the State Operations Center said. The Texas Forest Service and the Texas Engineering and Extension Service activated response teams.
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.
Isolated tornadoes were possible over parts of southern Louisiana and the upper Texas coast later Monday,... [continues]
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