Karen now tropical depression, remains stationary in Gulf - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Karen now tropical depression, remains stationary in Gulf of Mexico

The latest forecast shows Karen as a weakening tropical storm. (Source: National Weather Service) The latest forecast shows Karen as a weakening tropical storm. (Source: National Weather Service)

(RNN) – Karen has now been downgraded to a tropical depression, lessening the threat of severe weather throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico.

All tropical storm watches and warnings have been discontinued, according to the latest information from the National Hurricane Center. The latest forecast also states that Tropical Depression Karen is stationary.

Despite its diminishing state, forecasters still expect Karen to produce significant amounts of rain and flooding throughout the Gulf Coast.

The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center said Karen's strength has sustained at 35 mph Saturday evening. The storm is located about 120 miles southwest of Morgan City, LA, and about 185 miles of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Karen is currently moving northwest at 8 mph and is expected to turn toward the north and make landfall Saturday night or Sunday morning near the southeastern Louisiana coast. Experts are also predicting Karen to take another turn to the northeast on Sunday, with its remnants to take a turn further east on Monday.

Tropical storm force winds stretched out 115 miles from the center.

Storm surges and strong winds from Karen could also take a toll in the areas.

Strong winds, heavy rainfall and the potential for localized flooding extend far inland over the southeastern U.S.

The National Hurricane Center is also predicting that Karen is expected to produce 1 to 3 inches of rainfall across the area. Isolated storms could produce rainfall of up to six inches in some areas.

In response to the oncoming storm, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley declared states of emergency on Thursday. Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared an emergency in 18 counties.

Some Federal Emergency Management Agency workers were taken off of furlough on Thursday to help respond to Karen.

"Due to the federal government shutdown, NOAA.gov and most associated web sites are unavailable," the NHC website has read since Oct. 1. "However, because the information this site provides is necessary to protect life and property, it will be updated and maintained during the federal government shutdown."

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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