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Karen weakens to tropical depression in Gulf of Mexico

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(CNN) — What started as Tropical Storm Karen has fizzled to a tropical depression, easing fears along the Gulf Coast that the cyclone could wreak havoc as a hurricane.

Karen’s downgrade from a tropical storm to a depression means its maximum sustained winds are now under 38 mph.

As of late Saturday night, Tropical Depression Karen was stationary about 120 miles south-southwest of Morgan City, Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said. All tropical storm warnings have been discontinued.

As Karen spun in place, it carried maximum winds of about 35 mph.

But the center of the depression is expected to move near or over the southeastern tip of Louisiana on Sunday, the weather agency said. It will likely move just south of the Gulf Coast from Alabama to the Florida Panhandle late Sunday and into Monday.

Karen could dump 1 to 3 inches of rain over parts of the central Gulf Coast and the southeast through Monday night.

“Localized coastal flooding is possible along portions of the northern Gulf Coast,” the hurricane center said.

But little change in strength is forecast on Sunday, the weather center said.

By Monday, Karen is expected to sputter out into a remnant low.

By Holly Yan