Early this morning Tropical Storm Karen was about 295 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River and moving toward the Gulf Coast states at around ten miles per hour. The storms sustained winds are expected to remain steady at around sixty miles per hour with little change today, but a possible increase in strength on Saturday. A hurricane watch went into effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana to Destin, Florida and a tropical storm warning was issued from Grand Isle to the Pearl River.

Karen is set to be the first named storm to make landfall in the United States this hurricane season. She is expected to be either a week hurricane or remain a tropical storm when she hits over the weekend. Residents along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle began preparing for the storm on Thursday.

Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi has already declared a state of emergency along with Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal and Governor of Florida Rick Scott. Rick Scott has only declared a state of emergency for eighteen counties. Tropical storm force winds, strong tides and and heavy rain are expected the begin by late in the day today. Louisiana is expected to get the brunt of the storm.