Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

Gordon slams Gulf Coast with tropical-force winds, rain

Gordon slams Gulf Coast with tropical-force winds, rain

Flash flood watches stretched from the Florida panhandle, through parts of southwest Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and IL. The storm gained strength Wednesday with winds of 120 miles per hour.

In Alabama, about 10,000 power outages were reported, mostly along the coast.

Gordon will bring strong winds as well as sporadic tornadoes to the Alabama and Florida coasts as well as heavy rainfall with the potential for flash flooding across the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central MS, northeastern Louisiana and southern Arkansas.

The National Hurricane Center said Gordon should weaken rapidly after it moves inland from the central Gulf Coast, but that doesn't diminish concerns about flooding.

The tropics are getting more active we have a major hurricane out over the open Atlantic.

It was moving to the northwest at 14 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 30 miles per hour.

Gordon is on track to become the first tropical storm to make landfall in the usa this season. The next name up in this year's rotation is Helene.

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The National Hurricane Center also is monitoring two waves that could develop into tropical systems.

This satellite image is from shortly before landfall, around 1 p.m. CDT Tuesday. The company's other Gulf of Mexico facilities were unaffected by the storm, a spokeperson said.

Gordon was expected to become a Category 1 hurricane before landfall due to warm sea surface temperatures and relatively low wind shear over the Gulf of Mexico, Clark said.

He said the risk of flash flooding was moderate in Alabama and the area where Arkansas, Louisiana and MS converge. In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency as well, and said state resources are being mobilized.

US and global crude futures were up a fraction as traders said they did not expect the storm to have long-term impact on Gulf output.

Grand Isle Mayor David Campardelle called for a voluntary evacuation of the barrier island.

"Through Saturday it will be pretty wet", Tabitha Clarke, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in North Little Rock said Wednesday.

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Built after Hurricane Katrina, the home is made to withstand a 240kmh wind, she said.

"The bigger bands will be coming in through the majority of the day", Huffnagle said.

On Tuesday, residents and officials in the western Panhandle were watching Gordon's approach.

Tropical Storm Gordon spawned multiple possible tornadoes as it came ashore late Tuesday. Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall in Panama City Beach on May 28, and the Atlantic Basin hasn't produced any storms that threatened the United States since then.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell held an afternoon news conference and said the city has "the pumps and the power" needed to protect residents.

A Flash Flood Watch is in force for the St. Louis area Friday evening to early Sunday morning.

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