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Posted: Friday, 04 October 2013 9:50AM

Karen weakens a bit, to head futher west

The latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center shows Tropical Storm Karen losing some of its punch, but shifts the track further west before an eastward turn.

Top sustained winds are now 50 miles per hour, down from top speds of 65 miles per hour overnight.

Click here for computer models, the official forecast track, and local preparedness information...

Forecasters expect Karen to move south of Terrebonne Bay tomorrow before it starts to turn, passes very close to Grand Isle, crosses Plaquemines Parish, and then makes a final landfall near Mobile, AL.

WWL-TV Meteorologist Laura Buchtel says Karen could be off the coast of Terrebone/Lafourche Saturday evening around 7, but says that is just an estimate at this point.

On the current predicted track, the Metro New Orleans area and much of Southeast Louisiana will likely see winds start picking up Saturday, with 40+ mile per hour winds in the Metro area by Saturday night. 

The coastal areas of Plaquemines, Lower Jefferson, Lafourche, and Terrebonne could see winds in excess of 60 miles per hour by Saturday night on the current track.

The Hurricane Center has extended the tropical storm warning from Morgan City, to the Louisiana-Mississippi state line.

The New Orleans area is under a tropical storm watch.  St. Tammany and southern Tangipahoa are also under a tropical storm watch.

Power outages are among the top concerns with a tropical storm.  Local leaders urge people to prepare for the possibility of some electricity going out.

"Now would be the time to make sure you everything in order, that you have plans... electricity may go out," said Kevin Davis, Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

People outside of hurricane protection levees could also have rising water.

"You could get storm surge flooding of three to five feet above ground level in some coastal areas," warned Dr. Richard Knabb at the National Hurricane Center.

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