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Entries in Labor Day Weekend (3)

Thursday
Sep012011

Storms Threaten Rain for Labor Day Weekend

Matt Cardy/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Labor Day weekend could be the last chance sunbathers have to enjoy the beach this summer season, or it could be another wallop of wet weather if two storm systems make their way to land.

Dual storm systems are barreling toward the Gulf Coast and the East Coast as the holiday weekend approaches, threatening large waves, rainy weather, and nervous beachgoers who could choose to stay home.

Katia was declared a Category 1 hurricane Thursday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. The storm is not expected to hit land during the weekend, but rough weather is expected to hit the Carribbean, and Katia could make landfall in the U.S. next week, according to Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.

In the Gulf of Mexico, a tropical disturbance that could become Tropical Storm Lee is heading for Gulf Coast beaches this weekend. Beaches from the Florida panhandle to the Texas coast could be hit with torrential flooding rainfall and at least some coastal flooding and high surf, according to Weather.com.

There have already been evacuations of some personnel from offshore oil rigs, the report said.

Feltgen said the weather in the Gulf is expected to become a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, and potential visitors all along the Gulf Coast should keep an eye on the storm as they make their weekend plans.

"Parts of the Gulf Coast really need the rain, so it could be a godsend to some places," Feltgen said. "We want the rain but wouldn't want the winds."

Feltgen said it's too early to tell whether Katia will hit the U.S., or predict when or where it could make landfall. It is, however, expected to strengthen over the holiday weekend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep012011

Katia Becomes Second Hurricane of 2011 Atlantic Season

NOAA/National Weather Service/National Hurricane Center(MIAMI) -- Katia, which earlier this week was named a tropical storm off the West African coast, has picked up enough strength to become the second hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season.

The storm developed into a category 1 hurricane Wednesday night with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.  It is currently more than 1,000 miles east of the Leeward Islands and is moving west/northwest at 20 miles per hour.

Hurricane Katia is projected to steer clear of the Caribbean Islands and could pick up considerable strength by the week's end.

"We are expecting strengthening over the next couple of days and it could become a major hurricane or category 3 strength by the weekend," says Hurricane Specialist Daniel Brown at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

But, as Brown says, "it's a little too early to know whether or not it could threaten the United States."

Another system, however, could pose a threat to the southeastern region of the country.  The National Hurricane Center says "a large area of cloudiness and thunderstorms over the eastern Gulf of Mexico" could develop into a tropical depression.  The system also has a 60 percent chance of developing into what would be Tropical Storm Lee in the next two days, the hurricane center said on Thursday.

Should this system strengthen, it could bring heavy rain to New Orleans and northern Florida over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug302011

Has Irene Polluted Shoreline Beaches?

ABC News(TRENTON, N.J.) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has ordered people back to the beach now that Hurricane Irene has blown through the state, although his own environmental agency is still testing waters for sewage, bacteria and debris churned up by the storm.

"Get the hell back on the beach," the notoriously blustery governor tweeted Monday as Irene faded away.

The state's Department of Environmental Protection issued a warning on its website Monday that raw sewage was spilling from a lake into the ocean near Asbury Park, just three blocks south of where Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno held a press conference encouraging visitors to make one last trip to the state's beaches for Labor Day weekend.

"We're open for business," Guadgno said.

Larry Ragonese, spokesperson for the DEP, said the agency had begun testing all of the beaches up and down the coast for water quality and expected to have the results posted by the end of the week on njbeaches.org.

"Obviously you have tremendous runoff of stormwater," Ragonese said. "And everything that is on land and sea kind of meet. So we're looking for any kind of bacteria, anything unusual. We're also looking for debris, from docks or boats. You don't want a life vest popping through the water."

Ragonese said it was likely that stormwater from Irene could have overwhelmed sewer systems and caused overflows, and that the department would be monitoring the water closely.

State environmental officials are testing beaches all along the Irene's path from North Carolina to New York as Labor Day weekend approaches.

Until the test results come in, beaches and the ocean will remain open, Ragonese said.

"It's up to each town along the coast. They're the ones as far as safety that would determine that," Ragonese said.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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