Less than three weeks into the season, the Gulf Coast of the United States was bracing for its first significant impact of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.
Tropical storm warnings were plastered along the coast from southwestern Louisiana to the far western Florida panhandle on Friday, and residents took their cue to dock their boats and prepare their homes for flooding.
Tropical storm conditions arrived Friday as rough waters were pushed toward the coastline, well in advance of the storm’s landfall along the coast expected in the early hours of Saturday. Precipitation from the system moved into New Orleans and other areas along the central Gulf Coast on Friday morning.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tropical Storm Claudette dumped heavy rain across the U.S. Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida as it chugged inland Saturday, triggering flash floods and tornado warnings along its soggy course across the Southeast.
The National Hurricane Center declared Claudette organized enough to qualify as a named storm at 4 a.m. Saturday, well after the storm’s center of circulation had come ashore southwest of New Orleans. It was north of the city three hours later, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph) as the storm plodded to the northeast at 12 mph (19 kph). The heaviest rains were far from the center, near the Mississippi-Alabama state line.