Tropical Storm Gordon threatens Gulf Coast, hurricane warning in place

Tropical Storm Gordon has formed

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. The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch through Tuesday night, particularly in coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

The hurricane center said Hurricane Florence had maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour and was continuing to move toward the northwest at 12 miles per hour.

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 first is its speed - Gordon is moving relatively fast at 17 miles per hour and is losing how much warm Gulf water is has to grow stronger.

Model trends still keep it largely tracking further to the east than in previous tracks and at this time, direct impacts from this storm are not expected here in the Brazos Valley.

A hurricane watch remains in effects for portions of the central U.S. Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Gordon approaches.

After periods of heavy rainfall, flood advisories were in effect for parts of South Florida late Monday. "All preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion, as tropical storm conditions are expected to arrive in the warning areas Tuesday afternoon".

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Monday and said 200 National Guard troops will be deployed to southeastern Louisiana. This storm could also produce 3-5 feet of storm surge.

"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves", the center said.

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The massive storm is heading west-northwest at 16mph, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While likely to remain outside of the storm's core, this zone is still expected to see gusty winds and heavy rainfall.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a voluntary evacuation notice for areas outside of the New Orleans levee system ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon.

Cantrell urged residents within the levee protection area to stock up on supplies and shelter in place.

The NHC's hurricane warning covers all of coastal MS and Alabama, with a tropical storm warning reaching to Morgan City, Alabama, and Florida's Okaloosa-Walton County Line.

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

Red flags flew over Pensacola-area beaches in Florida's Panhandle, where swimming and wading in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited. A storm surge watch is in effect from just east of Morgan City to Shell Beach.

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

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