LAFAYETTE, La., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- A storm was expected to make landfall along the U.S. gulf coast Saturday, bringing with it heavy rains and winds with the ability to spawn tornadoes.
The National Hurricane Center said Subtropical Depression No. 10 , which was about 100 miles south of Apalachicola, Fla., Friday morning, carried winds of up to 35 mph but could become a stronger tropical storm as it headed northwest. A tropical storm warning was issued from Apalachicola to the mouth of the Mississippi River, including New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.
Rains of 2-4 inches were expected to be common with up to 6 inches possible.
Jack Beven of the hurricane center warned “environmental conditions are favorable for this system to become a subtropical or tropical cyclone at any time during the next 24 hours as the low moves slowly toward the west-northwest," the Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, La., reported Friday.
Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who was in Spain on an economic trade mission, issued a state of emergency Thursday night as a precaution.
The U.S. Interior Department said Thursday oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico had evacuated eight platforms and rigs in the storm's anticipated path, Accuweather.com reported.