Tropical Storm Gordon strengthens, churns toward U.S. Gulf Coast

STORM UPDATE: Santa Rosa County public schools early release Tuesday - South Santa Rosa News

A State of Emergency has been declared in both MS and Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon, which is expected to become a hurricane late Tuesday. "All preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion, as tropical storm conditions are expected to arrive in the warning areas Tuesday afternoon".

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for southeast Louisiana, and Hurricane Warnings are in effect for coastal MS and Alabama.

Santa Rosa County Schools Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick announced Monday evening that schools will be dismissed early Tuesday due to the impending approach of Tropical Storm Gordon, which is expected to become a hurricane before making landfall late Tuesday. It was moving relatively quickly, at about 25 km/h.

Gordon will make a direct and impactful landfall along the Gulf Coast Monday night, bringing hurricane force winds, storm surge, and up to 200 mm of rain to parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey all declared states of emergencies ahead of the storm's landfall.

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. He elevated his house off the ground after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and has food, water and two generators.

A hurricane warning is in effect for all the Alabama and MS coast.

New Orleans isn't expected to take the brunt of the storm, but "we're expecting heavy rains and some loss of electricity", he said.

The system is one that should be closely monitored, especially as the peak of Hurricane season is mid-August to mid-September.

Gordon was generating winds of 65 miles per hour on Tuesday the National Hurricane Center said. A Tropical Storm Warning also remains in effect for the local area.

Rain chances return to 50 percent by Thursday and jump to 60 percent on Friday.

Beaches around Mobile, Alabama, were being washed by storm-driven waves on Tuesday morning, said Stephen Miller, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

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