Published: Wed, September 05, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Gordon likely to make landfall as category 1 hurricane

Gordon likely to make landfall as category 1 hurricane

The storm was forecast to become a Category 1 hurricane by the time it makes landfall on the central Gulf Coast Tuesday evening, likely between Mobile and New Orleans, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane warnings are now in effect until further notice for coastal MS and tropical storm warnings remain in effect for the rest of the viewing area.

A storm surge warning was in effect for the area between Shell Beach, Louisiana, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with predicted heights of up to 3 to 5 feet if the peak surge coincides with high tide.

Gordon strengthened early Monday night with max winds up to 60 miles per hour.

The storm is centered about 50 miles (85 kilometers) west-southwest of Fort Myers, Florida, and moving west-northwest at 17 mph (28 kph). Positioned 145 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, Gordon is moving toward the northwest at 15 mph.

"Gordon will not be just a coastal event, and not just wind but also water could be damaging, risky and even deadly, especially if preparations are not rushed to completion as early as possible today before tropical storm conditions arrive", said Rick Knabb, The Weather Channel's tropical weather expert.

Gordon is expected to produce up to six inches of rain in parts, which could cause flash flooding. The warning means there is danger of life-threatening inundation. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, activating members of the National Guard.

Tropical storm warnings extend to the west to around New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain and to the east over the western Florida panhandle. High shear prevents a storm from organizing or can even tear it apart.

However authorities issued a voluntary evacuation order for residents outside the levee protection system, including the Venetian Isles, Lake Saint Catherine and Irish Bayou areas.

"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. If this happens, hurricane warnings and storm surge amounts may be shifted based on the new forecast track.

For everyone else, the mayor is urging them to stock up on supplies, and shelter in place.

Red flags flew over Pensacola-area beaches in Florida's Panhandle, where swimming and wading in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from the Mississippi-Alabama border.

The storm left many businesses on Florida's Gulf Coast feeling shortchanged by the holiday weekend.

Tornadoes are possible throughout Monday night across the southern and west-central Florida Peninsula.

A few pop-up showers will be possible, while the tropical rain from Gordon will be slamming the Gulf Coast.

According to Florida Power and Light, as of 8 p.m., 407 people are without power in Miami-Dade, 99 people are without power in Broward and five people are without power in Palm Beach County.

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