Gordon Weakens Over Central Mississippi, Florence Becomes Major Hurricane

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A hurricane watch is in effect for the area from the Mississippi-Louisiana border to the Alabama-Florida border.

A tree fell on a mobile home in Pensacola, killing a child inside.

Gordon is expected to move across the lower Mississippi Valley through Wednesday, but the NHC says it will rapidly weaken as it moves over land, becoming a tropical depression. Infrared satellite data from Aqua's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument identified the strongest areas of the storm where cloud-top temperatures were indicative of strong winds and heavy rain, according to a statement from NASA. The hotel restaurant planned to stay open Tuesday evening as usual, fortified by sandbags to keep out torrential rains, the manager said.

The mayor noted the ongoing construction on Highway 1, the lone road that connects Grand Isle to the rest of the state, and said it could cause "severe problems" for people evacuating.

In coastal Mississippi's Jackson County, people filled bags with sand at government distribution points Monday, intending to line their homes with them to avert flooding.

"This is kind of routine to some degree", Macdonald said. You know you're going to flood before anyone else does. "You don't want to take it lightly, of course".

"Gordon is forecast to be a Category 1 hurricane near the time it makes landfall on the northern Gulf Coast tonight most likely along the Mississippi Gulf Coast".

Drake said the flooding in Manhattan could also flow into two reservoirs in that area, Tuttle Creek Lake and Milford Lake, which can still take on a lot of water. As much as 20 centimetres of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states through late Thursday as the tropical weather moves inland toward Arkansas. Sustained winds were at 70 miles per hour (113 kph), just below hurricane-force.

Louisiana and Mississippi's governors declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

Oil and gas companies in the Gulf of Mexico also evacuated more than 50 platforms as the storm swept in, temporarily halting production.

Wednesday Morning: After churning up the state of MS through the overnight, Gordon has been downgraded to a tropical depression following the most recent update from the NHC.

FRIDAY-TUESDAY: As Gordon fades away to our northwest, our weather remains in a wetter pattern, with scattered showers and storms sticking in the forecast through the end of this week into the start of next week.

Meanwhile, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned: "The city's absolute number one priority is to ensure the safety of our residents".

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