Tropical Storm Gordon's rain and winds lash Alabama coast

UPDATE: Gusty showers hitting southern Palm Beach County as Gordon passes

UPDATE: Gusty showers hitting southern Palm Beach County as Gordon passes

It's expected to make landfall along the Alabama or MS coast late Tuesday night or early Wednesday perhaps as a category one hurricane.

The warning covers the MS and Alabama coast, from the mouth of the Pearl River to the Florida-Alabama border, the National Hurricane Center said.

It was centered 330 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, as the storm moves west-northwest at 17 mph.

More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power on Monday as a result of the weather. It was moving west at 15 miles per hour, pushing maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour with higher gusts.Forecasters said that little change in strength was expected and that no coastal watches or warnings were in effect.

New Orleans director of emergency preparedness Collin Arnold says the storm has the potential to turn into a "low-level hurricane" with potential winds of up to 70 miles per hour (113 kph).

As a precaution, Governor Edwards confirmed 200 members of the Louisiana National Guard will be sent to the southeastern portion of the state on Tuesday morning.

To make matters worse, the National Hurricane Center is warning Gulf Coast residents to watch for a "life-threatening" storm surge. 4 near the border between Louisiana and MS, and drop as much as 8 inches (20 cm) of rain in some areas of the U.S. South still reeling from hurricanes a year ago.

"The biggest impact to our state will be heavy rain, but in Florida, we know how quickly weather can change", Gov. Scott said.

Alert Day Tuesday: numerous thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon with tropical storm conditions expected and hurricane conditions possible tonight. But authorities are also issuing a voluntary evacuation order for people outside the city's levee protection system.

On Monday night, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged some residents to evacuate ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon.

Gordon is expected to dissipate by Saturday somewhere in the central U.S.

"This is normally a decent weekend, but the storm and red tide aren't helping", Wright said.

"Gordon will not be just a coastal event, and not just wind but also water could be damaging, unsafe and even deadly, especially if preparations are not rushed to completion as early as possible today before tropical storm conditions arrive", said Rick Knabb, The Weather Channel's tropical weather expert.

"With the peak of hurricane season upon us, now is the time to get prepared". A Flash Flood Watch is in effect.

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