U.S. Gulf Coast bracing for Hurricane Gordon as storm nears

Pablo Tucker
September 5, 2018

Storm Gordon is now battering South Florida with powerful gusts and heavy rain and it is expected to reach hurricane strength before making landfall just east of Louisiana. 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.

Meteorologists were also tracking Tropical Storm Florence Monday, which was moving west with sustained winds of almost 70 mph about 1,400 miles east of the Lesser Antilles islands.

The storm is forecast to unleash multiple hazards along the coast, including torrential rain, strong winds, and a storm surge of up to several feet, which is a rise in ocean water above normally dry coastal land.

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

The National Hurricane Center reported that the storm could unleash "life-threatening" storm surge to portions of the central Gulf Coast.

The storm is expected to move away from the southwestern Florida coast and reach coastal MS and Louisiana by late Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 2 p.m. EDT advisory that the storm is expected to move away from the southwestern Florida coast and reach coastal Mississippi and Louisiana by late Tuesday and move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday.

After forming near the Florida Keys Monday morning and moving west-northwest into the Gulf of Mexico, Gordon brought winds of almost 50 miles per hour and sometimes heavy rains over Tampa Bay by midday. The main threats here in Middle Georgia include the chance of some severe storms Tuesday and (possibly) Wednesday along the outer bands of the storm.

A storm surge warning was posted for the north central Gulf Coast from Shell Beach, La.to Dauphin Island, Ala.

What had been Tropical Storm Florence reached hurricane strength late Tuesday morning. This is a fluid situation and tropical storm conditions will begin to be experienced along northern parts of the Gulf coast by Tuesday.

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.

September is the peak of hurricane season, and the National Hurricane Center is also watching Tropical Storm Florence, which is about 895 miles west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands with 60 mph winds.

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