Tropical Storm Gordon Races Toward US Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Gordon Races Toward US Gulf Coast

Forecasters say they still expect Tropical Storm Gordon to become a hurricane before making landfall somewhere along or near the MS coast.

Conditions will begin to deteriorate later this afternoon with the majority of the impacts this evening with landfall.

For now, Tropical Storm Gordon has winds blowing at 65 mph (100 km/hour), and its eye (the center of the storm) is located about 145 miles (235 kilometers) from the mouth of the Mississippi River, the NHC said.

Sandbags were filled, patio furniture was taken inside, and shoppers stocked up on batteries and bottled water as people along the Gulf Coast prepared Tuesday for Tropical Storm Gordon, which was forecast to become the second hurricane to hit the region in less than a year. It was moving northwest at 15 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Governors in MS and Louisiana have declared states of emergency as Tropical Storm Gordon bears down on the Gulf Coast.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency and authorized the activation of 200 National Guardsmen to be positioned in the southeast of the state.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared her own state of emergency and closed all non-essential government offices.

Gordon Moving Quickly Across Eastern Gulf Of Mexico
In New Orleans , a voluntary evacuation order is in effect for people who live in neighborhoods that are not protected by levees. It is about 1,205 miles west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands and about 1,300 miles east-northeast of the Lesser Antilles.

Heavy rain is already falling over western Florida and is expected to spread west along the coast to New Orleans.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.: Tropical Storm Gordon strengthened to near-hurricane strength over the past few hours, reaching maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A hurricane warning is in effect for all the Alabama and MS coast. This one is expected to become a tropical depression or storm soon. No flooding just yet and not expecting strong winds.

These are two very different scenarios and we need to monitor this very closely the next 5-10 day period.

It could "bring life-threatening storm surge" of up to five feet (1.5m), the NHC said.

The center says Gordon will bring heavy rainfall to southwest Alabama, southern and central MS, southeastern and northeastern Louisiana and southeast Arkansas through late Thursdays.

Officials along Pensacola Beach say the waves are picking up Tuesday morning and lifeguards are warning beachgoers of the danger.

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