Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Tropical Storm Gordon lashes southern US

Tropical Storm Gordon heads for Gulf Coast Tropical Storm Gordon in gulf, moving away from Florida
Grady Vargas | 05 September, 2018, 15:01

The storm is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 inches over the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central MS, northeastern Louisiana, and southern Arkansas, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches through late Thursday, the NHC added.

At the mouth of the Mississippi River, around the area of New Orleans, the storm could generate a surge of up to 4 feet (1.2 metres) and smaller surges could hit coastland along other parts of the Gulf Coast, the Miami-based hurricane center said.

Flooding also was a risk.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence will potentially threaten Bermuda in the next few days, and we will see a train of systems moving off the coast of Africa that will have the potential to develop as well.

Tropical Storm-force winds extend outwards up to 80 miles from the center, the NHC said.

Gordon is the first tropical system to impact Northwest Florida since hurricane season began June 1. Still, the southeastern part of the state remains under a tropical storm warning and residents need to be prepared for the storm to shift west, Edwards said.

Heavy rain is already falling over western Florida and is expected to spread west along the coast to New Orleans.

The National Hurricane Center said early Wednesday that Gordon was weakening on a path into Arkansas after striking the coast at 70 miles per hour, just shy of hurricane strength, near Pascagoula, Mississippi.

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

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"You don't know what the intensity of the storm is going to be".

The last hurricane to strike the USA was Nate last October, coming ashore in Biloxi with 75 miles per hour (120 kph) winds.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared emergencies.

"When you get the higher waves, water starts splashing across".

The Arkansas Department of Transportation was preparing for weather hazards Tuesday by clearing local drainage of debris, coordinating with local officials, checking equipment readiness and availability and filling vehicles and equipment with fuel, the agency said in a statement.

Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle called for a voluntary evacuation of the barrier island.

The long-range forecast map for the storm shows it slowly turning to the northwest as it approaches Bermuda by the end of the week.

Off to the east coast of Florida, storms are developing.

Florence is not a threat to land and there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect for this storm.

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