Gulf Coast prepares for Gordon's expected arrival as hurricane
07 September, 2018, 14:29 | Author: Ann Santiago
Tropical Storm Gordon has lashed southern Florida with heavy rains and high winds, forcing beach goers to drier ground.
Gordon became a tropical storm after having strengthened rapidly overnight, and late Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning for the mouth of the Pearl River, which divides Louisiana and MS in the central Gulf.
Tampa Bay was pelted with bands of rain and occasionally gusty winds from Tropical Storm Gordon on Monday, but Gulf Coast states could be in for worse.
The storm is expected to reach the central Gulf Coast by late Tuesday.
The last hurricane to strike the USA was Nate in October, coming ashore in Biloxi with 75 miles per hour (120 kph) winds. The storm weakened into a depression Wednesday but remained unsafe, dumping rain, spawning possible tornadoes and kicking up heavy surf in its wake. Red flags flew over Pensacola-area beaches in Florida's Panhandle, where swimming and wading in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited.
More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power on Monday as a result of the weather.
As Tropical Storm Gordon makes a beeline toward the central Gulf coast, hurricane development isn't out of the question.
At least 300 people were displaced in Riley County, Kansas, after the area was struck by heavy rain and significant flooding.
A storm surge watch was in effect from the Mississippi-Alabama border westward to the mouth of the Mississippi River.
West of the mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas are also under a tropical storm warning. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other risky conditions.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency and companies cut 9 percent of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production. The storm surge threat is significant. A storm surge warning was in effect from Shell Beach to the Mississippi-Alabama border.
"We are happy to report that hotels, casinos, attractions and restaurants have resumed business as usual", Milton Segarra, CEO of the tourism organization Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, said in a Wednesday news release.
Alert Day Wednesday: continued tropical storm conditions with widespread rain and a chance for thunderstorms.
The system is expected to become a tropical storm by Monday evening, at which point it will be named Gordon.
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