Emergency on US Gulf Coast as Storm Gordon strikes


It was moving northwest at 15 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Inmates with the Hancock County Department of Corrections fill bags with sand as Tropical Storm Gordon approaches Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S., September 4, 2018.

When Gordon makes landfall, a storm surge of 3-5 feet is possible for all of coastal MS and from Shell Beach in eastern Louisiana to Dauphin Island, Ala., the hurricane center says.

Under its current track, the storm could move into the lower Mississippi Valley by Tuesday night and make landfall on the northern Gulf Coast later in the evening, forecasters said.

In an 8 a.m. advisory, National Hurricane Center forecasters said the unexpected Labor Day storm should make landfall Tuesday night as a weak hurricane, somewhere between the Florida Panhandle and Louisiana.

"Anything on the left side is constantly washed, roads torn up, being rebuilt", she said.

The storm's turbulent center is expected to plow a path from the southwest corner of Alabama and central MS into part of Louisiana and southern Arkansas.

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The National Hurricane Center said Gordon's tight core was about 75 miles (125 kilometers) southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi, or about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of Mobile, Alabama, where heavy rains and winds picked up shortly before nightfall. Across the Gulf Coast, others are bracing for the storm, where punishing surf and rain has begun.

"Nobody should panic but everybody should take this seriously", Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference Monday.

West of the mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas are also under a tropical storm warning.

Wilson says beachgoers shouldn't get into the Gulf of Mexico when red flags are flying along the beaches. More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power Monday due to weather conditions.

This excessive rainfall "will cause flash flooding across portions of these areas", the NHC noted.

The US Coast Guard also warned that the ports of New Orleans as well as Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi, may have to close within 48 hours when gale force winds from Gordon are expected to arrive.

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