Published: Wed, September 05, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

Gordon makes landfall as Florence gains strength as category 2 hurricane

Gordon makes landfall as Florence gains strength as category 2 hurricane

Even though Gordon is not expected to cause anything comparable to the catastrophic destruction of the major hurricanes in 2017, the governors of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have all declared state of emergencies and have urged residents to take every possible precaution.

The storm was producing gusty winds and heavy rain along the coast of the western Florida Panhandle and along the Texas coast, the National Hurricane Center said in an afternoon advisory.

As of 5 p.m., the storm had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph — with higher gusts — and was located about 95 miles south-southeast of Mobile, Ala., and about 90 miles southeast of Beloxi, Miss.

The National Hurricane Center predicted a "life-threatening" storm surge along parts of the central Gulf Coast, and as much as 8 inches of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states through late Thursday as the tropical weather moves over the lower Mississippi Valley.

Meanwhile, Florence has been upgraded to hurricane status, packing 75-mph winds as it moves west-northwest at 12 miles per hour.

National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Esbensen said the storm's track shows it will likely make landfall on the MS coast, and forecasters are reasonably confident the track won't shift much, if at all.

In anticipation of heavy rains, the Flood Protection Authority-East (FPA) has closed 21 floodgates on the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier near New Orleans, according to a press release.

Tropical Storm Warnings now include the western Panhandle of Florida.

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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell held an afternoon news conference and said the city has "the pumps and the power" needed to protect residents.

During a hurricane warning, officials advise to complete storm preparations and immediately leave the threatened area if directed by local officials.

US oil producer Anadarko Petroleum Corp evacuated workers and shut production at two offshore oil platforms on Monday, and other companies with production and refining operations along the Gulf Coast said they were securing facilities.

"As we found out a little rain can turn into big problem if the system stalls over us", Lloyd says.

"When you get the higher waves, water starts splashing across". A storm surge watch spreads west to the mouth of the Mississippi River and east to Navarre, FL. It will be quieter the farther inland you live.

Off to the east coast of Florida, storms are developing.

But the storm, spinning in the open Atlantic, isn't a threat to land for the time being - although that could change next week as it approaches Bermuda.

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