Gordon slams Gulf Coast with tropical-force winds, rain

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Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for southeast Louisiana, and Hurricane Warnings are in effect for coastal MS and Alabama.

Tropical Storm Gordon spent much of Tuesday morning and afternoon hovering less than 20 miles off the coast of the Florida Panhandle as it made its way west towards a MS landfall.

For now, Tropical Storm Gordon has winds blowing at 65 mph (100 km/hour), and its eye (the center of the storm) is located about 145 miles (235 kilometers) from the mouth of the Mississippi River, the NHC said.

Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center warned of "life-threatening" storm surge of 3 to 5 feet predicted along western Alabama, Mississippi and eastern Louisiana coasts.

Gordon should be a hurricane when it hits lands on the north-central Gulf Coast on Tuesday night, forecasters said.

Tropical Storm Florence was moving west-northwest at 12 miles per hour in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the hurricane center's 10 a.m. update.

The last hurricane to strike the USA was Nate, which came ashore in Biloxi, Mississippi, last October.

The storm's predicted track had shifted slightly east as of Monday evening, meaning Louisiana is now just outside the area under the hurricane warning. "The good part about it is the water goes down faster here", said Cazaux, who has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years.

Schools have been closed along the coast and governors in MS and Louisiana have already declared a state of emergency as the storm advances. If this happens, hurricane warnings and storm surge amounts may be shifted based on the new forecast track.

Geo Rodriguez made a decision to go for a walk on Hollywood Beach, north of Miami, on Monday morning and got caught in the storm.

The National Weather Service said conditions were "possible" for tornadoes in the affected parts of South Florida on Monday night.

USA oil producer Anadarko Petroleum Corp evacuated workers and shut production at two offshore oil platforms on Monday, and other companies with production and refining operations along the Gulf Coast said they were securing facilities. "I think when you look at how rough the water is today, it's pretty self-explanatory".

Authorities issued a voluntary evacuation order for areas outside the city's levee protection system. Scattered showers and storms will remain in the forecast Wednesday as Gordon pulls away, leaving our area on the southeast side of the storm and returning an onshore flow from the Gulf of Mexico. In this scenario, the storm could be forced west and move toward the eastern US coast.

There are no watches or warnings in effect as Florence is in the open waters.

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