Arlene heads toward U.S.,could become hurricane

Tropical Storm Arlene was growing stronger and faster by Friday afternoon, and the storm may grow into a hurricane before hitting the U.S. around midnight Saturday.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | June 10, 2005


Tropical Storm Arlene was growing stronger and faster by Friday afternoon, and the storm may grow into a hurricane before hitting the U.S. around midnight Saturday.

With some of last year’s hurricane damage still not repaired, people from Florida to Louisiana prepared for 7 inches of rain, possible tornadoes, and beach erosion as Tropical Storm Arlene moved through the Gulf of Mexico on Friday.

A U.S. landfall was expected Saturday around midnight between eastern Louisiana and the western Florida Panhandle. The worst weather will occur east of the storm's center. Wind and rain extend 140 miles to the north and east from the storm's center. The storm was expected to move along the Mississippi-Alabama line, reaching Tennessee by Sunday afternoon.

Both the forward speed and wind speed are expected to strengthen slowly over the next 24 hours.

A tropical storm watch was issued for the region along the Gulf Coast from Morgan City, Louisiana, to Indian Pass, Florida. Isolated tornadoes may occur over portions of southwest Florida and the Florida Keys on Friday.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regional staff were in coordination with state emergency management offices.

FEMA response liaisons were deployed to Alabama and Florida, and a FEMA response liaison is being identified for possible deployment to Mississippi.

Faith-based and voluntary agencies were in close contact with FEMA and state emergency management officials.

By Friday morning, Arlene’s top winds were 55 mph, and forecasters said the biggest impact would be heavy rain.

The storm brought welcome rainfall to drought-ridden Cuba.


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