published Friday, October 4th, 2013

Alabama coast preparing for Tropical Storm Karen

GULF SHORES, Ala. — Alabama's coast is preparing for what could be a weekend visit from Tropical Storm Karen.

A hurricane watch is in effect from Grand Isle, La., to west of Destin, Fla.

In Alabama, the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab will be closed Friday because of the storm, and the Mobile Bay Ferry won't be running.

The city of Gulf Shores is moving lifeguard stands off the beach to higher ground. The Bayfest music festival begins Friday in Mobile with a lineup that includes the Zac Brown Band and R.Kelly, and organizers say the show will go on as much as possible.

Forecasters say Karen could reach minimal hurricane strength and then weaken before making landfall as a tropical storm along the northern Gulf Coast late Saturday or early Sunday.

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