- (Photo: REUTERS/NASA/Handout)
Tropical storm Debby broke out into a series of tornadoes in Florida on Sunday, which has resulted in the death of one woman.
Residents along the south Eastern coast line were cautioned to take cover, secure outside items, and prepare for possible flooding at tropical storm Debby broke loose on Sunday. Trekking near the Mississippi River, Debby headed north at the rate of two miles per hour with winds upwards of 60 mph.
The National Hurricane Center predicted that the areas mostly likely to be affected by the storm would include the southwest corner of Mississippi, much of Louisiana, and a good portion of east and south east Texas.
Florida, however, which remained 115 miles southwest of the storm's eye Sunday night, has taken a large brunt of the damage. Gloria Rybinski, emergency operations spokeswoman for Highland County, reported to CNN that "two twisters destroyed four homes in the southern end of the county and damaged others."
One woman was left dead and one child was taken to the hospital to be treated for injuries.
The worse may be yet to come though, as storm conditions may increase over the next few days although currently it appears to have reached a lull.
"Little movement is expected during the next couple of days, but this forecast remains uncertain due to weak steering currents," the Miami-based center said. "Some gradual strengthening is possible during the next 48 hours."
While the track of the storm could change, the latest update revealed that Debby has turned direction from Louisiana to Florida with speeds lowered to 50 mph.
The storm could linger over the northern gulf for the next few days, causing continued rain and windy conditions in surrounding areas. A tropical storm in the area has not occurred since 1951, catching many off guard.
"Debby forced the suspension of 8 percent of the region's oil and gas production," CBS reported. "The government reported that nine production platforms and one drilling rig were evacuated."
A total of 360 people were moved for evacuation in the area. The storm is not likely to increase gas prices at the current moment and little damage is expected.
"I don't anticipate any real damage at all; those rigs, especially the modern ones, are built to handle a good-sized hurricane," Jim Rouiller, a senior energy meteorologist at Planalytics Inc. told the Washington Post.