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Marco Downgraded To Tropical Storm As It Approaches Louisiana Coast

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — After a day as a hurricane, Marco was downgraded to a tropical storm Sunday night as it approached Louisiana for an expected landfall around midday Monday.

Marco had grown into a Category 1 hurricane early Sunday, but the National Hurricane Center said its sustained winds decreased to 70 mph after nightfall. The center cautioned that Marco could still cause life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds along the Gulf Coast.

Marco was centered about 115 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River land heading northwest at 10 mph Monday morning.

After making landfall on Monday Marco could further weaken into a tropical depression and move into East Texas on Tuesday. Some forecasters are warning that Laura could be a Category 3 hurricane when it hits, and Houston is in the cone of uncertainty.

While Louisiana may have dodged being hit by back-to-back hurricanes, the state is still in the path of Tropical Storm Laura, which is forecast to reach hurricane strength before making landfall in the U.S.

Laura was forecast to move along Cuba's southern coast during the day before entering the Gulf of Mexico and heading toward the same stretch of U.S. coast later in the week.

Laura caused the deaths of at least 11 people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, while knocking out power and causing flooding in the two nations that share the island of Hispaniola.

Laura was centered about 175 miles east-southeast of Cayo Largo on Monday morning, and had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It was moving west-northwest at 21 mph and was predicted to strengthen into a hurricane by Tuesday morning as it followed a path likely to take it to the Louisiana coast by Wednesday night, forecasters said.

Despite Marco's weakening, a storm surge warning remained in place from Morgan City, Louisiana, to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. A tropical storm warning included Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, and metropolitan New Orleans.

A storm surge of up to 4 feet was forecast for parts of coastal Louisiana and Mississippi.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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