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Texas could get Ivan flooding

Making an encore appearance in the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm, Ivan swirled toward the Texas coast Thursday with a potential for up to 10 inches of rain over the weekend.

"It's just kind of like a cold front," said Freddie Richard Jr., emergency preparedness director in Louisiana's Cameron Parish. "We're just getting some rain and a little bit of wind."

Ivan was expected to make a button-hook turn and sit over Houston and the rest of southeastern Texas through the weekend, bringing 4 to 10 inches of rain and the threat of flooding.

"(Tonight) through Saturday morning, if you run a line through Galveston, Houston and College Station, that area probably is really going to get pounded," said National Weather Service meteorologist Kent Prochazka.

The last time the Houston area had a tropical storm was June 2001, when Allison hit and then looped back, dropping 36 inches of rain, killing 22 people and paralyzing the nation's fourth-largest city.

On Thursday reborn Ivan blew into the Gulf Coast, lashing Louisiana with thunderstorms and 60-mph winds. Ivan split in two, with its eye headed for Texas while most of its rain bands were moving into Louisiana.

Ivan, which was thought to have spent itself as a hurricane in torrents of earth-rending rain over Appalachia last weekend after bringing destruction to the Alabama-Florida border, was split in two after colliding with high pressure over the East Coast.

Its obituary had already been written late on Sept. 16 by federal meteorologists, who issued a report concluding: "This is the last forecast/advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center on this system."

But in such a memorable hurricane season, such finality was bound to be ill advised. Part of the disintegrating storm spun south, drenched eastern Florida with heavy rain on Tuesday, and then crossed that storm-shredded state. It could then draw on the warm, storm-nourishing waters of the Gulf of Mexico and so was reborn.

There was some debate at first on Wednesday night, but forecasters at the National Hurricane Center agreed it should retain its name. Breaking from its usual deadpan tones, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an update saying: "It sounds like the sequel to a very bad horror movie, but it's no joke. Ivan is back."

It is rare for storms to revive after nearly dying, said Dan Brown, a forecaster at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Accuweather.com hurricane expert Joe Bastardi predicted the remnants of the son of Ivan could venture back into the Gulf of Mexico for a third attempt at becoming a tropical storm or hurricane.

FEMA deluged with applications for help

WASHINGTON _ The Federal Emergency Management Agency has handled nearly 600,000 applications for help in the wake of three damaging hurricanes, providing more than $320-million in assistance, the agency reported Thursday.

FEMA, the Red Cross and state and local agencies continue to cope with the damage from Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan, largely in Florida but also in other states. Frances has been the most costly, with $158,479,591 distributed in response to 279,365 applications for help.

The agency has distributed $133,603,681 to 215,630 applicants damaged by Hurricane Charley and another $28,457,212 to 99,819 applicants for damage from Ivan.

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