News / USA

US Gulf Coast Braces for Tropical Storm

This image provided by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Karen taken Wednesday
This image provided by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Karen taken Wednesday
VOA News
Coastal residents in Louisiana moved to higher ground ahead of a tropical storm that has triggered emergency declarations in a four-state region and a recall of federal emergency workers furloughed in an ongoing partial government shutdown.

At last report, the slowly weakening storm, named Karen, was located 375 kilometers south and west of the mouth of the Mississippi River with 85 kilometer-an-hour winds. Forecasters issued warnings Friday for as much as 25 centimeters of rain when the storm makes landfall west of New Orleans late Saturday.

Far to the north, an autumn blizzard roared into parts of Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota, leaving behind more than 80 centimeters of snow and bringing with it wind gusts of 110 kilometers an hour.  

The eastbound weather system, blamed for at least three deaths in Nebraska, later spawned tornadoes eastward into Iowa. There were no immediate reports of tornado damage.

Residents in the watch and warning areas are urged to stock up on drinkable water, non-perishable foods, and battery-powered radios and flashlights.
 
The National Hurricane Center expected the storm to move through one of the most productive areas of the Gulf to reach the Gulf Coast between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle over the weekend. It said the storm could become a hurricane before hitting the coast.
 
In the Gulf Coast cash gasoline market, differentials surged about 3.00 cents per gallon on storm concerns, traders said. “All storm hype,” a Gulf refined products trader said on the rise in differentials, which came despite a 1.85-million-barrel increase in inventory last week in the well-supplied region.
 
Anadarko Petroleum Corp said it halted production at its Neptune platform, which can produce up to 14,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and 23 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.
 
Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell also were evacuating some workers, but said production was not affected.
 
Chevron did not say which installations were being partially evacuated, but all four of its platforms were in the projected path of the storm. Those include Tahiti, which can produce up to 125,000 bpd of oil and 70 million cubic feet a day of natural gas.
 
Shell also did not identify affected platforms, but five of the company's six producing installations were in the storm's projected path as well as its newest platform, Olympus, which was anchored in the Gulf in August. It is slated to start up next year.
 
Anadarko was also evacuating workers not essential to production from Neptune and other platforms, including the natural gas-only Independence Hub, which can produce up to 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day.
 
The Independence Hub is at the easternmost part of the Gulf where oil and gas producers can operate, about 185 miles (297 km) southeast of New Orleans. It, and many of the platforms operated by Chevron, Shell and BP, are in a Gulf area known as the Mississippi Canyon, which is home to much of the basin's energy infrastructure.
 
BP said on Thursday it was continuing evacuations of some workers, but no production had been shut. ConocoPhillips, which operates a single platform far west of Mississippi Canyon, said on Thursday it did not expect any impact from Karen.
 
Onshore, a crude distillation unit at Chevron's Pascagoula, Mississippi refinery with a capacity of 210,000 bpd was shut early on Thursday, market intelligence service Genscape said, though the company did not confirm the stoppage or say if it was storm-related.
 
Phillips 66, Shell and Motiva Enterprises also said their refineries in Texas and Louisiana were monitoring the storm.
 
Destin Pipeline Co LLC on Thursday declared force majeure because it was unable to provide natural gas services from its offshore Gulf of Mexico receipt points due to Tropical Storm Karen. The pipeline receives output from some BP platforms, including Thunder Horse.

Reuters contributed to this report.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid