Tropical storm: Gordon expected to hit MS with hurricane force

Tropical storm: Gordon expected to hit MS with hurricane force

The National Hurricane Center said tropical storm-force winds would hit parts of southeast Louisiana and the MS coast by late Tuesday, with hurricane conditions also expected in the central Gulf Coast late Tuesday.

A state of emergency has been declared in Louisiana and MS as Tropical Storm Gordon roars towards the US Gulf Coast. The National Hurricane Center predicted a "life-threatening" storm surge of 3 to 5 feet along parts of the central Gulf Coast.

UPDATE: 7 p.m.: The center of Tropical Storm Gordon was continuing its northwest track with landfall expected this evening or overnight, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center.

Jeff Collier, mayor of Dauphin Island, Alabama, in the Gulf, said the storm was approaching just as the island was finishing up recovery from Hurricane Nate a year ago.

Gordon was located about 55 kilometres south-southwest of Mobile, Alabama and was packing maximum sustained winds of 110 km/h, the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

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"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", according to NHC meteorologist Richard Pasch.

In Mississippi, vessels in the harbors of Biloxi and Gulfport were ordered to evacuate by Tuesday due to the risk from storm surge there.

A few tornadoes are possible this afternoon through tonight near the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.

Gordon lashed South Florida with heavy rains and high winds Monday. Meanwhile, a new tropical wave continues to move off the coast of Africa, but there is a low chance of development in the next couple of days.

Meteorologist Pat Walker said: "Gordon is making landfall with advised max sustained winds of 70 miles per hour near the MS/AL border".

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Governors in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana all declared states of emergency, allowing them to mobilize state resources and National Guard troops to help during and after the storm. "The highest will be on Friday and that is because of the tropical storm".

In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a voluntary evacuation notice for areas outside the levee system.

The U.S. Gulf Coast refineries represent more than 45 percent of the national refining capacity, and the Gulf of Mexico yields 17 percent of the country's total oil production.

Gordon was not the only storm being watched by forecasters.

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