Gordon slams Gulf Coast with tropical-force winds, rain

Christopher Davidson
September 6, 2018

The storm, which has since been downgraded to a depression, dumped heavy rains across southern states.

After marching up from the Florida Keys and lashing South Florida on Monday with rain, Gordon was centered Tuesday evening over the Gulf of Mexico, about 75 miles southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Tropical Storm Gordon weakened into a depression on Wednesday but was dumping heavy rains that threatened to cause floods across several southern US states while Hurricane Florence strengthened to a Category 4 storm and could menace Bermuda.

Gordon will bring strong winds as well as sporadic tornadoes to the Alabama and Florida coasts as well as heavy rainfall with the potential for flash flooding across the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central MS, northeastern Louisiana and southern Arkansas.

Storm Gordon is is expected to move across the lower Mississippi Valley through the day.

In addition, Gordon may cause a "few tornadoes" to rip through this afternoon through tonight along the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, the NHC said.

This satellite image is from shortly before landfall, around 1 p.m. CDT Tuesday.

"I think we've had worse in the past", Kearley's husband, Shane, said.

The child's age and identity were not released.

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Tropical storm-force winds and heavy downpours battered Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, downing trees and power lines.

At LaFrance Marina near Ansley, Mississippi, a mile north of Heron Bay on the Gulf of Mexico, marina owner Sue Cates said that a tidal surge is sure to push water into the marina's low-lying campgrounds, making evacuation "the only choice" people have to protect themselves.

The last hurricane to strike the US was Nate in October, coming ashore in Biloxi with 75 miles per hour winds.

A hurricane warning continued early Wednesday morning for all of coastal MS and Alabama, with a tropical storm warning reaching from the Alabama-Florida border to Florida's Okaloosa-Walton county line. Forecasters said rainfall could be even more intense in isolated places, dropping up to 12 inches through early Saturday.

Mayors of barrier islands in the storm's path warned that their communities might get cut off from the mainland.

More than 27,000 customers are without power Tuesday night as tropical storm Gordon began pushing ashore. Crews were already restoring electricity early Wednesday.

Hundreds of National Guard troops have been deployed to the area as governors of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana declare states of emergency.

MS shut down a dozen Gulf Coast casinos as the storm neared.

Reuters reported that the company had evacuated workers from two platforms and has suspended production on them.

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