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Tropical Storm Karen is headed towards the U.S. Gulf Coast and residents are being warned about heavy winds, rains and tides.
According to BBC News, oil platforms in the path of the incoming tropical storm have already started shutting down.
Ahead of the storm, some Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employees are being recalled by the White House.
Karen is expected to hit the northern Gulf Coast during the weekend and a hurricane watch has been called for Grand Isle, La. to Indian Pass, Fla.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said, "Now is the time for people to review their emergency plans in case conditions worsen. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Florida Governor Rick Scott have declared a state of emergency for 18 counties.
Reuters is reporting that Hurricane Center forecasters stayed at work, despite the government shutdown. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website, however, was affected and weather satellite photos "may not be up to date."
BBC News notes that parts of Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula will also likely see heavy rain from the storm.