Marco became a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico Sunday on a path toward the Louisiana coast. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and headed to the same part of the US coast, also as a potential hurricane, the AP reports. It would be the first time two hurricanes form in the Gulf of Mexico simultaneously, according to records dating to at least 1900, said Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. The National Hurricane Center said Marco was about 300 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and heading north-northwest at 14 miles per hour, packing winds of 75 miles per hour. The center warned of life-threatening storm surges and hurricane-force winds along the Gulf Coast.
A hurricane watch was issued for the New Orleans metro area, which Hurricane Katrina pummeled in August 2005. Laura was centered about 95 miles off the eastern tip of Cuba Sunday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. It was moving west-northwest at 21 mph. The storm left more than 100,000 people without water in the Dominican Republic on Saturday night, while earlier it snapped trees and knocked out power to more than 200,000 customers in neighboring Puerto Rico. One person died in Haiti. It was forecast to move over Cuba on Sunday night or Monday. Officials in the Florida Keys, which Laura might pass over, declared a local state of emergency and issued a mandatory evacuation order for anyone living on boats, in mobile homes, and in campers.
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