Tropical Storm Bill Moving Towards Gulf Coast; Hurricane Watch Issued

June 30, 2003

The National Hurricane Center reported that Tropical Storm Bill is currently around 185 miles south of Morgan City Louisiana, and is moving north at around 14 mph. If it continues along its present path, Bill could make landfall later today.

The Center estimated that “maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph…with higher gusts.” It forecast “additional strengthening” during the next 24 hours, and warned that it “is possible that Bill could reach Hurricane intensity just prior to landfall.”

The storm’s winds extend up to 145 miles from its center, and the Service announced that it has put a “Hurricane Watch” in force,” indicating that “hurricane conditions are possible in the watch area within the next 36 hours.” The threatened coastal areas, which have also received a tropical storm warning, extend from East of High Island Texas to Pascagoula Mississippi.

The Center also warned that “Storm surge flooding is expected to be about 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels near and to the east of where the center crosses the coast. Heavy rainfall of 5 to 8 inches is expected later today as Bill approaches the Southern Coast of Louisiana.”

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