U.S. Gulf Coast Bracing for Hurricane Gordon as Storm Nears

U.S. Gulf Coast Bracing for Hurricane Gordon as Storm Nears

The worst conditions are expected to arrive along the north central Gulf Coast by late afternoon Tuesday and, especially, Tuesday evening.

A hurricane warning was put into effect for the area stretching from the mouth of the Pearl River in MS to the Alabama-Florida border.

A tropical storm dumped heavy rain on South Florida and the Florida Keys on Monday, prompting a hurricane watch along the storm's projected path in the central Gulf Coast.

Sustained winds of tropical-storm-force are likely in the zone under a hurricane warning, with the possibility of hurricane-force gusts, over 74 miles per hour. Gordon has intensified with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour and continues to have an improved structure on satellite and radar (see Fig. 1).

The storm could still pump up to a hurricane before making landfall Tuesday night.

There is a Special Marine Warning for Indian River County and Brevard County.

A storm surge warning was in effect for the area between Shell Beach, Louisiana, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with predicted heights of up to 3-5 ft if the peak surge coincides with high tide.

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A Tropical Storm Gordon Twitter account even cropped up on Monday, personifying the terror so many people felt.

In Mississippi, vessels in the harbors of Biloxi and Gulfport have been ordered to evacuate by 2 p.m. Tuesday due to the risk from storm surge there. A voluntary evacuation order has been issued for Grand Isle, Louisiana and schools have also closed for September 4th in Grand Isle. This will mean some flooding possibilities for Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and the Mobile area.

The weather will gradually improve Wednesday. 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. Scattered showers and thunderstorms were expected to continue through Tuesday as the storm intensified but moved away from central Florida, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Dustin Norman.

The last time there was no hurricane between July 13 and September 3, peak season, was in 2013, Klotzbach said.

The storm left many businesses on Florida's Gulf Coast feeling shortchanged by the holiday weekend.

John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Gordon approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast. Forecasters say little change in strength is expected in coming days and no coastal watches or warnings are in effect.

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