Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Science | By Celia Watts

Gordon weakens to tropical depression in coastal states

Gordon weakens to tropical depression in coastal states

Weather forecasters said the storm could strengthen to near-hurricane force by the time it hits the central U.S. Gulf Coast.

Gordon is expected to produce rain accumulations of 4 to 6 inches over southern Alabama, southern and central MS, and southeastern and northeastern Louisiana, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches through late Thursday, according to the hurricane center.

Gordon is hitting the Gulf Coast, striking the MS and Alabama border directly at close to hurricane strength.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for a swath of the Gulf Coast, from Florida and the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, the NHC said.

Hurricane warnings are posted for Alabama and MS with Tropical Storm Warnings for parts of eastern Louisiana.

Sea levels could rise as much as 5 feet (1.5 m) from Shell Beach, Louisiana, to Dauphin Island, Alabama, forecasters said.

Gordon is about 145 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and packing maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, according to the 11 a.m. advisory Tuesday from the National Hurricane Center.

Authorities across the Gulf Coast urged people to stay out of the water - warnings that beach lovers like Cameron Armstrong and Matthew Ewbanks ignored on their visit to Gulf Shores on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The last hurricane to strike the USA was Nate last October, coming ashore in Biloxi with 75 miles per hour (120 kph) winds. The Hurricane Center said isolated amounts could reach a foot, and that areas of flash flooding were expected between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a lot of the country is facing heavy rain and flooding this Labor Day - especially Kansas.

A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations. The tropical storm continues to approach the Gulf Coast.

"It was fine, just like a thunderstorm", said Pascagoula resident Trey Casey, who had been given the day off from work in anticipation of more serious damage.

The National Hurricane Centre is also tracking Tropical Storm Olivia and Hurricane Norman in the eastern Pacific. Some intensification is expected before it makes landfall tonight, possibly as a hurricane, in or near South Mississippi.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect.

Well out into the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Florence continues to move west-northwestward as it flirts with hurricane strength.

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