Two tropical storms heading as historic threats to US Gulf Coast

WION Web Team
San Juan, United States of America Published: Aug 23, 2020, 10:10 AM(IST)

A representative image of a tropical storm Photograph:( Reuters )

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Tropical Storms Laura and Marco were both projected to approach Louisiana at or close to hurricane force just two days apart next week.

Two tropical storms are advancing across the Caribbean as potentially historic threats to the US Gulf Coast -- one dumping rain on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands while the other pushing through the gap between Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba.

Tropical Storms Laura and Marco were both projected to approach Louisiana at or close to hurricane force just two days apart next week.

Two hurricanes have never appeared in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time -- at least since 1900. The last time two storms made landfall in the United States within 24 hours of each other was in 1933

The projected tracks from the US National Hurricane Center on Saturday afternoon pointed to both storms being together in the Gulf on Monday, with Marco hitting Louisiana and Laura making landfall in the same general area Wednesday.

A hurricane watch was issued for the New Orleans metro area, which was pummeled by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Another was issued for Intracoastal City, Louisiana, eastward to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

Laura flung rain across Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Saturday and was expected to drench the Dominican Republic, Haiti and parts of Cuba through Sunday on its westward course.

Officials said they were most concerned about the thousands of people in Puerto Rico who still have been living under blue tarps since 2017's Hurricane Maria and the hundreds of families living along the island's southern coast in homes damaged by a string of strong earthquakes this year.

Marco, meanwhile, was strengthening while centered about 75 miles (120 kilometers) west-northwest of Cuba's western tip, headed to the north-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph). It had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 kph) and was expected to become a hurricane later Saturday.

The National Hurricane Center said it expected the storms to stay far enough apart to prevent direct interaction as the region braces for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which is forecast to be unusually active.

Both storms were expected to bring 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters) of rain to areas they were passing over or near, threatening widespread flooding across a vast region.

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