Tropical Storm Karen weakens to depression off U.S. Gulf coast

MIAMI, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Karen weakened to a depression off the U.S. Gulf coast on Saturday after earlier fears that it would reach hurricane strength prompted evacuations and disrupted energy output from the Gulf of Mexico oil patch.

An advisory from the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Karen was downgraded to a tropical depression after its top sustained wind speeds dropped to 35 mph (55 kph), and all tropical storm warnings and watches were discontinued.