Tropical Storm Debby
Tropical Storm Debby, Tropical storm warnings were issued Sunday along the northeast coast of the Gulf of Mexico, as Debby lashed parts of the Gulf States with wind and rain.Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency as a result of forecasts for Tropical Storm Debby.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday morning that Debby was about 190 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It said the storm warning has now been issued from the Mississippi-Alabama border eastward to the Suwanee River in north Florida, and along the Louisiana coast from the mouth of the Pearl River westward to Morgan City.
Debby’s top sustained winds had increased to about 60 mph. The storm was moving toward the northeast at 6 mph.
Although a forecast track was still uncertain, the hurricane center said people from Texas to Florida should remain alert to Debby’s movement.
At least one tornado linked to the storm touched down Saturday in southwest Florida, but no injuries were reported. Heavy squalls pounded parts of that state. However, despite warnings in the Panhandle, Debby hadn’t totally dampened vacations.
Thousands of people were on the beach at Pensacola Beach, Fla., on Sunday morning. Many used their phones to take photos of huge waves crashing into the concrete supports of a fishing pier. There wasn’t any rain yet; just gusty winds and dark, fast-moving clouds.
Few people were in the water. Red flags warned tourists to stay out of the surf, and lifeguards cruised the sand on all-terrain vehicles, blowing whistles at anyone who got near the waves.
Workers with rental companies used pickup trucks to gather chairs and umbrellas as a precaution against an unusually high tide.
Forecasters said Debby could reach hurricane strength sometime over the next few days. Meanwhile, up to 10 inches of rain were possible along the coast, with isolated amounts possibly reaching 15 inches.