Monday, August 4, 2008

Storm Edouard moving toward Texas coast

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.

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