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

Tropical Storm Gordon threatens Gulf Coast, hurricane warning in place

Tropical Storm Gordon threatens Gulf Coast, hurricane warning in place

Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to smack the Gulf Coast on Tuesday night - possibly as a hurricane - and could bring life-threatening storm surge to low-lying coastal areas in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, forecasters said.

The Florida Keys have already experienced the heavy rain and wind from the tropical storm. In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency, as well, and said state resources are being mobilized.

The warning covers the MS and Alabama coast, from the mouth of the Pearl River to the Florida-Alabama border, the National Hurricane Center said.

The National Hurricane Center said at 11 p.m. EDT that the storm was centred 330 miles (530 kilometres) east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Officials aren't taking any chances as Tropical Storm Gordon bears down on the Gulf Coast, with about 1.7 million people under a hurricane warning and another 6.5 million under a tropical storm watch. It will likely be a hurricane by the time it makes landfall, but current predictions aren't forecasting that it will grow into a major category.

Schools in parts of coastal Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and MS were closed Tuesday, and others announced they would open for only part of their normal day. There is also a Tropical Storm Warning from the Okaloosa-Walton County Line westward to east of Morgan City, Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.

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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.

A storm surge watch is in effect from the Mississippi-Alabama border westward to the mouth of the Mississippi River. It predicts rising waters of 3 to 5 feet in an area stretching from Shell Beach, Louisiana to Dauphin Island, Alabama.

Hurricane force winds of greater than 74 miles per hour may be possible in some gusts.

Most recently, Hurricane Lane brushed past Hawaii last week, delivering a total 50 inches of rain and casting trees into the streets.

The tropical storm continues to approach the Gulf Coast. It was moving west at 15 miles per hour, pushing maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour with higher gusts.Forecasters said that little change in strength was expected and that no coastal watches or warnings were in effect.

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