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


MIAMI, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Karen weakened to adepression off the U.S. Gulf coast on Saturday after earlierfears that it would reach hurricane strength promptedevacuations and disrupted energy output from the Gulf of Mexicooil patch.

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

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