Beach goers relieved as Karen weakens

Beach goers relieved as Karen weakens

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GULF SHORES, Ala. -

Tropical Storm Karen had been threatening to put a damper on the weekend for Georgians vacationing in Gulf Shores, Alabama, but they say they're breathing a sigh of relief.  The storm has weakened and is now longer the dangerous threat it was expected to be on Friday. 

A tropical storm watch remained in effect Saturday evening, though, with a steady wind and brief periods of rain falling.  Surf was higher than normal, and rip currents remained the biggest threat to swimmers, who were warned to stay out of the water. 

Police continued to patrol the beach, requiring surfers to stay on the dry sand and out of the water.  While some vacationers had worried about their fun, residents had far bigger concerns on their minds.  They were even more relieved to hear that Karen could be downgraded to a tropical depression before it comes ashore. 

Forecasters expect Karen to be a rain event for coastal Alabama, as the diminishing storm makes a second landfall there Sunday night after first striking Louisiana on Sunday morning. 

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