Gulf Shores prepares for Tropical Storm Karen - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Gulf Shores prepares for Tropical Storm Karen

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GULF SHORES, Ala. -

People along the Gulf Coast are preparing for a hit by Tropical Storm Karen.

Nearing sunset on Friday, the surf was running so high and dangerous in Gulf Shores, Ala., that double red flags were flying along coastal Alabama and swimmers were warned to stay out of the water.

Vacationers in town for the weekend said they planned to get as much beach time as possible before Tropical Storm Karen's outer bands of rain begin lashing Gulf Shores.

A couple from McDonough, Ga. had bigger concerns; they are caring for elderly parents – one a cancer patient – and any power outage could be devastating.

"They've gone through storms and they have a storm shelter, and we just have to hope everything will be OK," said Marilyn Hindman.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley declared a state of emergency.  The concern is not just for Karen's high winds and the threat of tornadoes, but the almost certainty of flooding when tropical storm rain hits the Alabama coastline and spreads across the state. Forecasters expect 4 to 6 inches of rain, bringing the possibility of 2 to 3 feet of coastal flooding.

There are no evacuations planned.  Residents are not boarding up. Vacationers are not packing up. But all said they are keeping an eye on Karen.

FOX 5's Doug Evans was with the FOX 5 Storm Chaser in Gulf Shores to get a look at the preparations.

CLICK THE VIDEOS ABOVE TO SEE HIS REPORTS.

Click here for more information on Tropical Storm Karen

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