Tropical Storm Gordon hits Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Gordon hits Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Gordon hits Gulf Coast

While the centre of the storm was well inland on Wednesday, it was still dumping heavy rains and causing flooding in western Florida and coastal Alabama.

One child was also reported dead in Florida's Escambia County, after a tree fell on the family's mobile home.

In Fort Walton Beach and Santa Rosa County, officials were making sandbags available to residents around mid-morning in anticipation of possible flash flooding. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 35 miles per hour (55 kph) with higher gusts in a few squalls near the center.

Gordon is expected to unleash 75 miles per hour winds and drop four to eight inches of rain, with storm surges reaching five feet.

More than 27,000 customers are without power Tuesday night as tropical storm Gordon began pushing ashore.

Gordon formed into a tropical storm near the Florida Keys early Monday as it lashed the southern part of the state with heavy rains and high winds.

Governors in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana all declared states of emergency to better mobilise state resources and National Guard troops for the storm.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic basin, Hurricane Florence became the third hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season.

As Gordon slowly fizzles out, forecasters are turning their attention to Hurricane Florence, which is some 2,400 miles away from the US, and another potential storm near the coast of Africa.

Both tropical waves are now in the far eastern Atlantic, and both could be the next named storms of the season (Helene and Isaac).

More weather systems have developed and are now lurking in the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center in the United States has advised. Water levels along the northern Gulf of Mexico will gradually subside Wednesday morning.

Alabama and parts of Florida faced strong winds and 30cm of rain could fall in some areas.

"There are no injuries, no loss of life", said Gov. Phil Bryant.

The city expects to feel the storm's impact beginning late Tuesday and continuing through Wednesday, she said.

Grand Isle Mayor David Campardelle called for a voluntary evacuation of the barrier island.

"There are no dunes and there's no protection, so the realty company we rented from moved us across the street and down so that we would be safe", said Robin Berry.

Smith said there's more to it than rain and flooding; it's also the risky rip currents and possible power outages.

"The bigger bands will be coming in through the majority of the day", Huffnagle said.

Below is the latest GFS model, showing Gordon's predicted track.

Trucks with the Alabama Department of Transportation work to block off a flooded part of US Highway 98 while fighting rain from Tropical Storm Gordon on Wednesday in Spanish Fort, Ala.

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