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If Tropical Storm Marco and Laura swell together into hurricanes, it would be the first time two have collided simultaneously on record, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. Tropical Storm Marco is expected to hit Louisiana on Monday as forecasters issue storm surge and hurricane warnings for the state. The storm is gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico, southeast of the US state and could well arrive as a hurricane, the national centre has warned.
Mr Klotzbach said: “The National Hurricane Center is currently hinting at possibility of two hurricanes in Gulf of Mexico simultaneously early next week.
“If that were to occur, it would be first time on record that the Gulf of Mexico has had 2 hurricanes at the same time.”
The National Hurricane Center has also warned a second Tropical Storm, Laura is also projected to hit this week.
Laura will make landfall on Wednesday and could also gather strength into a hurricane.
Commenting on Marco, the National Hurricane Center said: “Hurricane conditions, life-threatening storm surge, and heavy rainfall are expected from Marco along portions of the Gulf Coast beginning on Monday, and Hurricane and Storm Surge warnings have been issued.
“Interests in these areas should follow any advice given by government officials.
“The intensity forecast remains tricky with Marco due to its small size and marginal environment.
“There are some models that briefly relax the shear today, which will likely be enough of a change to allow Marco to reach hurricane strength.
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“Later on, while the cyclone is near the coast of Louisiana, the shear is forecast to increase, but it is unknown exactly how close to landfall this will occur.
“Our best forecast at this time is that the strongest winds will be confined to the coast, and that Marco will then weaken faster than most hurricanes do over the swamps of Louisiana due to the shear.”
Laura has already hit the Caribbean and knocked out utility services in the island of Hispaniola today.
The island in the Dominican Republic has been battered by the storm so far, while the capital of the country, Santo Domingo, has urged residents to evacuate certain areas.
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The storm had also ripped through Puerto Rico where over 100,000 were left without water and a further 200,000 were left without electricity.
The National Weather Service in New Orleans also said: “Very minor changes early this morning, with impacts still expected across the area from Tropical Storm Marco.
“Impacts still very possible from Tropical Storm Laura later this week.”
There are also fears the neighbouring state of Mississippi could also be hit by the tropical storms.
With the state also struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Tate Reeves declared a state emergency.
He said: “We are in unprecedented times.
“We are dealing with not only two potential storms in the next few hours but we are also dealing with Covid-19.”
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards also declared a state of emergency on Friday.
He also asked Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration.
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