Two tropical storms continue to pose a threat in the Caribbean as they approach the Gulf Coast, with Louisiana potentially in the path of both of them in what could be an unusual occurrence, forecasters said.
Starting Monday, hurricane conditions, life-threatening storm surge and rain are expected along portions of the Gulf Coast from Tropical Storm Marco, the National Hurricane Center said.
Storm surge and hurricane warnings are in effect for some cities in states from Louisiana to Mississippi as Marco was expected to strengthen into a hurricane on Sunday.
Another tropical storm, Laura, could bring more storm surge, rain and wind to the Gulf Coast by the middle of the week, the center said. Laura is forecast to become a hurricane late Tuesday, officials said.
The last time a hurricane and a tropical storm were both in the Gulf of Mexico was in 1959, Joel Cline, tropical program coordinator for the National Weather Service, said on Saturday.
There are no known cases of two hurricanes in the Gulf at the same time, according to the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The closest occurrence of this was on Sept. 4, 1933, when a hurricane was over South Florida and another was over the western Gulf of Mexico.
Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center, dispelled rumors on social media that the storms would collide, forming a single monster storm. “They cannot merge,” he said. “They actually repel each other because of the rotations.
On Friday, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana declared a state of emergency to prepare for the storms.
“Louisiana is in a unique situation in that it is in the cone of two storms, which could impact different areas of the state in the coming days,” he said on Friday.
Tropical storm conditions were expected from Laura through Monday across portions of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Turks and Caicos, the southeastern Bahamas and Cuba.
Beginning on Sunday night and into Monday, tropical storm conditions are possible over the central Bahamas, Andros Island and in the Florida Keys from Tropical Storm Laura.
In Puerto Rico, more than 100,000 customers lost electricity on Saturday because of Tropical Storm Laura, according to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. On Sunday, nearly 33,000 customers remained without electricity, Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced of Puerto Rico said at a news conference on Sunday.