Traffic at the mouth of the Mississippi stopped Friday as coastal Louisiana prepares for a possible strike by Tropical Storm Karen, which is churning in the Gulf of Mexico.
Karen is forecast to hit the northern Gulf Coast over the weekend as a weak hurricane or tropical storm. A hurricane watch was in effect from Grand Isle to west of Destin, Fla. A tropical storm warning was issued from Grand Isle to the mouth of the Pearl River, including the New Orleans area.
A spokesman for the Port of New Orleans says cargo operations will continue as scheduled Friday, despite the river's closure at Southwest Pass. The Associated Branch Pilots, who guide ships through the river's twists and turns, shut down at daybreak.