Hurricane warning issued as Tropical Storm Gordon hits Gulf

Hurricane warning issued as Tropical Storm Gordon hits Gulf

Hurricane warning issued as Tropical Storm Gordon hits Gulf

Up to eight inches of rain is expected in some parts of the Gulf states by late Thursday.

Tropical Storm Gordon lashed South Florida with heavy rains and high winds on Monday and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane when it hits the central U.S. Gulf Coast.

There are hurricane watches out for the Alabama-Florida border, which states that hurricane force winds of 74-95mph are possible potentially making Gordon a category 1 hurricane. But it is moving quickly to the west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.

The mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, promised residents that the city has "the pumps and the power" needed for the storm.

The storm was lashing South Florida on Monday with high winds and heavy rains as it moved west-northwest at 16 miles per hour (26 kph).

In anticipation of heavy rains, the Flood Protection Authority-East (FPA) closed 38 floodgates, 13 valve gates and a concrete barge gate on the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier near New Orleans, according to a news release. A Tropical Storm Warning is in place in Florida from Golden Beach to Bonita Beach, and for the Florida Keys from Craig Key to Ocean Reef, including Florida Bay as well as from the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida westward to east of Morgan City, Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas (see Fig.2).

In New Orleans, a voluntary evacuation order is in effect for people who live in neighborhoods that are not protected by levees.

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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. "Its winds are already up to 50 mph and it's only been over the water for a few hours, so we are concerned with favorable conditions", said Jason Beaman from the National Weather Service in Mobile.

With strong winds pushing against the coast, there is the concern of a 3-5 foot storm surge in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The storm is expected to cross from southwest Florida into the Gulf Coast later Monday afternoon.

The last time there was no hurricane between July 13 and September 3, peak season, was in 2013, Klotzbach said.

Gordon started out as an atmospheric disturbance in an area of low pressure, known as a tropical wave, which frequently become tropical storms. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

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