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Gordon Takes Aim at the Gulf Coast

Gordon takes aim at the Gulf Coast: Millions of people from Florida to Louisiana brace for tropical storm that's expected to be a HURRICANE when it makes landfall

Daily Mail Report

Families filled sandbags, took patio furniture inside and stocked up on batteries and bottled water as the Gulf Coast prepared Tuesday for Tropical Storm Gordon, which was forecast to become the second hurricane to hit the region in less than a year.

Just hours before the storm was expected to come ashore, a few people remained on the beach, soaking in the sun before the tropical rain bands became more numerous. Others did their familiar pre-storm preparation rituals, including the staff at The Hotel Whiskey in Pass Christian, Mississippi, only about a block away from the Gulf of Mexico. The hotel restaurant planned to stay open Tuesday evening as usual, fortified by sandbags to keep out torrential rains, the manager said. A hurricane warning is in effect for the mouth of the Pearl River in Mississippi to the Alabama-Florida border.

Forecasters expect Gordon to turn into a hurricane before making a landfall somewhere along or near the Mississippi coast.

The National Hurricane Center is predicting a 'life-threatening' storm surge along parts of the central Gulf Coast, and as much as 8 inches of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states through late Thursday as the tropical weather moves over the lower Mississippi Valley.

Governors in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana all declared states of emergency for Gordon, allowing them to quickly mobilize state resources and National Guard troops to help during and after the storm. By Tuesday afternoon, the center of the storm was about 145 miles southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi, with top sustained winds of 65 mph, forecasters said. It was moving relatively quickly, at about 15 mph. The storm is still forecast to go above the 74 mph threshold to be a hurricane before hitting land late Tuesday or on Wednesday.

The US Coast Guard has already closed Mississippi ports in Gulfport and Pascagoula and the port in Mobile, Alabama, in anticipation of hurricane force winds within 12 hours.

President Donald Trump said in a tweet the federal government is ready to help anyone in Tropical Storm Gordon’s path.

A storm surge warning has been issued for the area stretching from Shell Beach, Louisiana, to Dauphin Island, Alabama. The warning means there is danger of life-threatening inundation. The region could see rising waters of 3 to 5 feet.

'The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves,' the center said.

The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said workers on at least 54 oil and gas production platforms in the Gulf have been evacuated in advance of Gordon. That is about 8 per cent of the staffed platforms in the Gulf and about 9 per cent of the region’s oil and natural gas production. In Mississippi, state officials are ordering 12 casinos along the Gulf Coast to close as Gordon approaches.

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