Gordon strengthens, expected to hit Gulf Coast as hurricane

Tropical depression may form in the Gulf of Mexico this week

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Gordon should be a hurricane when it hits lands on the north-central Gulf Coast on Tuesday night, forecasters said.

The area along the coast (including parts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi), is now under a hurricane watch, and forecasters do believe that the storm could reach a Category 1 hurricane before it reaches land.

A hurricane warning remained in effect from the mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida border, as did a tropical storm warning for the Alabama-Florida border to the Okaloosa-Walton County line.

Tropical Storm Gordon hasn't completely formed yet, but the weather system raced over southern Florida, on Monday, September 3, and is now heading toward the Gulf.

The storm is expected to make landfall in the southern Louisiana area around New Orleans between 7 and 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The Mississippi cities of Gulfport, Biloxi and Long Beach ordered mandatory evacuations of their harbors and marinas, and the U.S. Coast Guard said the ports of New Orleans and of Gulfport and Pascagoula in Mississippi could have to be closed if winds get too strong.

The National Hurricane Centre in Miami said the storm was west-south-west of Marco Island, and maximum sustained winds were clocked at 50mph.

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Those bands will drop a torrential amount of water across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle, where the hurricane center says totals could reach as much as 12 inches.

"While there remains uncertainty on the strength, timing and track of this feature, there will be potential for heavy rainfall and flooding across portions of our region, especially late Tuesday into Wednesday". The tropical storm continues to approach the Gulf Coast. Hurricane force winds of greater than 74 miles per hour may be possible in some gusts.

"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 Hurricane Center said.

"This is the price you pay to look at this handsome water and enjoy the coast", Pascagoula resident Richard Whitlock said as he raked leaves and branches from his yard overlooking the Gulf.

"MEMA has been monitoring the development of Tropical Storm Gordon very closely and will continue to do so through landfall which is now forecasted for some time late Tuesday night".

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect.

At least 300 people were displaced in Riley County, Kansas, after the area was struck by heavy rain and significant flooding.

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