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Louisiana braces for possible weekend hurricane

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NEW ORLEANS — A potential tropical storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico presents twin troubles for parts of southeast Louisiana.

It could contribute to the rising of an already high Mississippi River, with water reaching the tops of levees this weekend. And there is also the widespread danger of flash floods like the one that walloped New Orleans on Wednesday. Officials said that storm dumped as much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) in parts of the metro area in three hours.

The Gulf disturbance that spawned the floods was forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm by Thursday night.

Forecasters said Louisiana could see up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain by Monday. Some areas could get 18 inches (46 centimeters).

Mississippi and Texas were also at risk of torrential rains.

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