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Tropical Storm Gordon should strike Gulf Coast as hurricane, forecasters predict

Tropical Storm Gordon should strike Gulf Coast as hurricane, forecasters predict

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Florence held steady at just below hurricane strength over the eastern Atlantic Ocean early Monday evening, about 1,000 miles west-northwest of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

Gordon is expected to strengthen into a hurricane when it hits the central U.S. Gulf Coast late Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. But authorities are also issuing a voluntary evacuation order for people outside the city's levee protection system.

As a precaution, Governor Edwards confirmed 200 members of the Louisiana National Guard will be sent to the southeastern portion of the state on Tuesday morning. Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 60 miles per hour.

Gordon is expected to weaken as it moves inland later in the week.

Hurricane Warnings and Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for parts of the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida coasts.

Tropical storm and storm surge warnings were in effect along a long stretch of the central Gulf Coast from Morgan City, Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain, to the Alabama-Florida border. That means there's a danger of life-threatening inundation, where 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 Hurricane Center said.

The Naples Daily News reports that Naples beachfront stores were getting hardly any foot traffic Monday as the storm approached.

"The main source of uncertainty in the track forecast is exactly when and to what extent Florence will make this turn", NHC hurricane specialist David Zelinsky in his forecast.

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

More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power on Monday as a result of the weather.

Weather conditions are not favorable for tornadoes. It is possible these totals need to be increased further north into parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas-this is heavily dependent upon the track of Gordon. A storm surge watch spread west to the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, and east to Navarre, Florida. Scattered showers and thunderstorms were expected to continue through Tuesday as the storm intensified but moved away from central Florida, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Dustin Norman.

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