Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Thursday after Tropical Storm Karen formed in the Gulf of Mexico and threatened to come ashore over the weekend along the Gulf coast.
The declaration authorizes the state Office and Homeland Security and other state agencies to activate emergency plans for the tropical storm's possible impact on Louisiana parishes.
Forecasters said the storm is expected to approach the mouth of the Mississippi River and then shuttle off to the east toward the Florida Panhandle. But they warned the forecast track could change and advised residents and business in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to prepare for possible tropical storm conditions.
Meanwhile, officials in coastal parishes advised residents to make preparations and took early steps to prepare for the storm.