Tropical threat targets Gulf Coast, Louisiana declares state of emergency: Latest

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A tropical threat in the Gulf of Mexico is targeting the Gulf Coast and is expected to strengthen with Tropical Storm Claudette.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle as the region braces for heavy rains, wind gusts and potential flash flooding.

The tropical threat is expected to make landfall early Saturday, just west of New Orleans.

The heaviest rainfall can be just east of New Orleans in Mississippi and Alabama.

Five states, from Louisiana to Georgia, are on flash flood alert. Some areas could see almost 1 foot of rain.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency. The governor warned that after severe flooding last month, river levels are still high and drainage ditches are still full. Louisiana was particularly affected during the last hurricane season.

Meanwhile, unprecedented record heat is still burning the western half of the country, from the plains to California.

Palm Springs on Thursday equaled its record high temperature of 123 degrees.

Omaha reached 105 degrees, the first time the city reached this temperature in June since 1953.

Fifteen states from California to Illinois remain on alert for heat Friday – and more records are possible.

The heat in the West could finally ease Sunday through Monday, with highs expected in the ’80s in Sacramento and the’ 90s in Salt Lake City.

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