Gordon to approach north-central Gulf late Tuesday


At the moment the National Hurricane Center still has Gordon strengthen to a weak category one hurricane with winds of 75 miles per hour and making landfall in South Mississippi.

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 meters) and smaller surges could hit coastland along other parts of the Gulf Coast, the Miami-based hurricane center said.

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 to 5 feet if the peak surge coincides with high tide.

In Sebastian and Vero Beach, Tropical Storm Gordon will likely bring wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour and scattered thunderstorms.

The storm is centered about 50 miles (85 kilometers) west-southwest of Fort Myers, Florida, and moving west-northwest at 17 mph (28 kph).

Skies quickly turned from partly cloudy to dark gray as storms spread over the port city of Mobile in the evening.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning areas.

The main weather story across the southeast is Tropical Storm Gordon.

After periods of heavy rainfall, flood advisories were in effect for parts of South Florida late Monday.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Monday and said 200 National Guard troops will be deployed to southeastern Louisiana. About 2 million people are under a hurricane watch or warning. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other unsafe conditions.

"This storm has every possibility to track further in our direction", Edwards said during a news conference Monday evening.

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

"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 Hurricane Center said.

For everyone else, the mayor is urging them to stock up on supplies, and shelter in place.

Tropical Storm Gordon has 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.

Gordon could make landfall on the western side of the cone, near New Orleans, the east side, near the Alabama/Mississippi border, or anywhere in between.

The National Weather Service said Naples, Marco Island, and Everglades City also could expect hazardous weather on Monday.

Separately, Tropical Storm Florence continues to hold steady over the eastern Atlantic.