Gordon makes landfall on Gulf Coast

Theresa Obrien
September 7, 2018

By evening, the storm was headed west-northwest at 17 miles per hour into the Gulf of Mexico and had maximum winds of 60 miles per hour.

Tropical Storm Gordon was pounding South Florida with heavy rain and strong winds on Monday and could strengthen to near-hurricane force as it moves toward the Louisiana Gulf Coast over the next two days, the National Hurricane Center said.

"Gordon will not be just a coastal event, and not just wind but also water could be damaging, unsafe and even deadly, especially if preparations are not rushed to completion as early as possible today before tropical storm conditions arrive", said Rick Knabb, The Weather Channel's tropical weather expert.

Parts of the northern Gulf Coast could see 3 to 6 inches rainfall Tuesday into Wednesday, from southeast Louisiana into far southern MS and far southern Alabama, according to the Weather Channel.

Gordon was located about 230 miles (365 km) east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and was packing maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (100 km/h), the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

A lot of the country will be seeing heavy rain and flooding this Labor Day. Beachgoers in the area were warned Wednesday of risky rip currents that prompted red-flag warnings, meaning it was illegal to enter the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 27,000 customers were without power as Gordon began pushing ashore, mostly in coastal Alabama and the western tip of the Florida Panhandle around Pensacola, with a few hundred in southeastern Mississippi.

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The National Weather Service said conditions were "possible" for tornadoes in the affected parts of South Florida on Monday night.

Gordon should be a hurricane when it hits lands on the north-central Gulf Coast on Tuesday night, forecasters said. The area already has been impacted heavily by this summer's so-called "red tide"- massive algae blooms that have caused waves of dead marine life to wash along the coast.

A Tropical Storm Warning includes the coast from the Western Florida Panhandle through Alabama and MS to Louisiana, including New Orleans, Pensacola, Mobile, Fort Walton Beach, Biloxi, and Gulfport. It predicts rising waters of 3 to 5 feet in an area stretching from Shell Beach, Louisiana to Dauphin Island, Alabama. The storm surge threat is significant.

Dominic Carlucci drove back to his home on the barrier island in his Hummer, and found no damage, just a sagging wooden fence.

Governors in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana had all declared states of emergency to better mobilize state resources and National Guard troops for the storm.

The storm left many businesses on Florida's Gulf Coast feeling shortchanged by the holiday weekend. Some intensification is expected before it makes landfall tonight, possibly as a hurricane, in or near South Mississippi.

Alert Day Wednesday: continued tropical storm conditions with widespread rain and a chance for thunderstorms.

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