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US Gulf Coast braces for one-two punch from storms Marco and Laura

MAP: NOAA CRUISE_Tropical_Storms_Marco_Laura.jpg
Tropical Storm Marco, far left, is expected to make landfall Monday, followed by Tropical Storm Laura on Thursday
With Tropical Storm Marco forecast to make landfall on the US Gulf Coast Monday afternoon followed by Tropical Storm Laura Thursday, the Coast Guard has been adjusting port conditions, pre-staging response assets and urging safety precautions.

The Port of New Orleans is closed, while the Port of Mobile is at port condition X-ray (gale-force winds expected within 48 hours) and the Port of Galveston remains open with no warnings issued as of Monday morning.

Two Gulf storms a 60-year first

'We haven't seen two storms in the Gulf in about 60 years and they are both expected to make landfall this week as of right now. Our crews are doing everything they can to prepare and are pre-staging response assets to be able respond to emergencies as rapidly and safely as possible once the storms pass,' said US Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Amelia Chutchins, District Eight command center, operations unit controller.

Laura likely to lash Cuba, Jamaica, Lower Florida Keys

Meanwhile, heavy rainfall across much of Cuba and Jamaica is forecast today due to Tropical Storm Laura, with tropical storm conditions expected in the Lower and Middle Florida Keys later Monday. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said Laura could strengthen as it moves across the Gulf of Mexico.

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