Tropical Storm Claudette brings rain, life-threatening flooding to Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Claudette formed early Saturday morning off the Gulf Coast bringing wind, heavy rain and flooding to parts of coastal Louisiana and Mississippi.

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The center of the storm was located inland, about 45 miles southwest of New Orleans, and is expected to weaken into a depression Saturday night, the National Hurricane Center said.

“Claudette is expected to produce heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding across coastal Mississippi and Alabama, and the far western Florida Panhandle through the afternoon,” hurricane officials said.

The storm could bring an estimated 5 to 10 inches of rain. Some areas already started flooding Friday into Saturday. Flash flood warnings were in effect in some areas along the coast with flood watches in effect inland for parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and central and northern Georgia.

A tropical storm warning was issued from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Okaloosa-Walton County line in the Florida Panhandle.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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