Slow-Moving Debby Could Drench Gulf Coast

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Tropical Storm Debby is making such slow progress that it could end up dumping huge amounts of rain along the Gulf Coast.

The storm is hanging nearly stationary in the Gulf and is expected to make landfall Wednesday night in the Florida panhandle.

Because Debby is moving slowing, it's giving clouds more time to unload rain. In northern Florida, residents are preparing for up to 25 inches.

Authorities are urging residents in several counties near the crook of Florida's elbow to leave low-lying neighborhoods because of the threat of flooding.

In Tampa, they're asking people to stay away from flooded streets. Several tornadoes have also moved through an area southeast of Tampa, killing one woman and damaging homes.

In Alabama, crews are still searching for a South Carolina man who disappeared in rough surf on Sunday afternoon.

Melvin Shepherd, director of beach safety for Orange Beach, said the man was vacationing with his family when he went underwater around 1:45 p.m.
 
As of 8 a.m. EDT Monday, Debby's center was essentially stationary south-west of Apalachicola, Fla. The storm's top sustained winds were clocked around 50 miles an hour with little change in strength expected Monday and Tuesday.

Forecasters believe Debby will inch forward this week, eventually coming ashore over the Panhandle.

As of Sunday, a government hurricane response team said close to 25 percent of oil and gas production in the region was suspended.

Companies evacuated workers from 13 drilling rigs and 61 production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm, however, is not expected to result in higher oil and gas prices.

Related Link:

National Weather Service

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