• EYE ON THE TROPICS: The Latest: Gordon to bring flash flood threat

    By: Associated Press , Monique Valdes , Kevin Williams , Irene Sans

    Updated:

    Forecasters say remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon could cause flash flooding across parts of seven states - as far north as southern Iowa - in coming days.

    In its latest update before dawn Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to leave total rain amounts of 4-8 inches (10-20 centimeters) in the Florida panhandle and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois.

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    The Hurricane Center says that isolated amounts of 12 inches (30 centimeters) will be possible in parts of the region through early Saturday.

    Though Gordon is expected to weaken to a tropical depression sometime Wednesday morning, forecasters say tornadoes will still be possible Wednesday and Wednesday night in Mississippi and western Alabama.

    6 a.m.
     
    Rain is still falling in Mobile, Alabama, in the wake of Tropical Storm Gordon and the power is out in places, but the lights are on at a Waffle House restaurant where factory worker Jerome Richardson was happy to get breakfast. 
     
    He said his lights went out at about 9 p.m. as Gordon moved in from the coast, and he was still without electricity as he left for work. He says he hopes he doesn't have to throw out everything in his refrigerator when he comes home from his 12-hour shift.

     


     
    Driftwood and other debris on the causeway made for a hazardous trip to nearby Dauphin Island, where a storm surge submerged streets with seawater overnight. 
     
    4:45 a.m.
     
    Forecasters say remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon could cause flash flooding across parts of seven states -- as far north as southern Iowa -- in coming days.
     
    In its latest update before dawn Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to leave total rain amounts of 4-8 inches (10-20 centimeters) in the Florida panhandle and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois.

     

    The Hurricane Center says that isolated amounts of 12 inches (30 centimeters) will be possible in parts of the region through early Saturday.

    Though Gordon is expected to weaken to a tropical depression sometime Wednesday morning, forecasters say tornadoes will still be possible Wednesday and Wednesday night in Mississippi and western Alabama.

    3:45 a.m.
     
    Tropical Storm Gordon spawned multiple possible tornadoes as it came ashore late Tuesday.
     
    The National Weather Service issued several tornado warnings in south Alabama and the Florida panhandle after radar indicated possible twisters associated with the storm.
     
    There were not any immediate damage reports.

    While not hurricane strength, the tropical system downed trees, flooded roadways and brought heavy rainfall as it moved inland Wednesday morning.

    The National Weather Service in Mobile cautioned that the Styx River near Elsanor, Alabama, could reach moderate, and possibly major, flood stage later Wednesday.

    2:45 a.m.

    A child has died in Florida in what could be Gordon's first storm-related death.

    The Escambia County Sheriff's office posted on its Facebook page late Tuesday that deputies responded to a call that a tree had fallen on a mobile home in Pensacola. Upon their arrival they found a child deceased. The post says no one else in the home was injured. The name and age of the child were not released. 

    Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall late Tuesday just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border. Gordon formed Monday morning near the Florida Keys.

    2 a.m. update: 

    Gordon continues to travel overland, with the main bulk of its precipitation and strongest winds to the right side of the storm. Maximum sustained winds at 50 mph almost 3 hours after initial landfall and moves to the northwest at 14 mph.

    Gordon will continue to weaken as it moves farther inland, but it will also lose much of its speed. The lack of speed will allow the rainfall to continue accumulating over much of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle Wednesday.  Four to eight inches of rain are likely over the Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central Mississippi, northeastern Louisiana, and southern Arkansas. Higher isolated amounts of 12 inches are possible. 

    Over 25,000 people were reported without power in Alabama by midnight. As rains and winds continue through the evening, more power outages are expected in Alabama, extreme eastern Mississippi and northwestern Florida. 

     

                  

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    11 p.m. update: 

    Gordon makes landfall west of the Mississippi - Alabama border with maximum sustained winds at about 70 mph. 

    A second landfall is expected in Mississippi, perhaps near Pascagoula, by midnight Eastern Time. 

    The heaviest rainfall and tropical storm force winds have been affecting southern portions of Alabama and Florida's western panhandle. 

    Water will also get pushed into Mobile Bay as Gordon continues to move to the north-northwest. 

    Alabama power already reports over 4000 customers without power, the majority near Dauphin Island. 
     

     

     

     

     

    5 p.m. update: 

    Gordon continues as a a tropical storm moving northwest at 15 mph. The system could become a strengthen to a category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph before making landfall near Gulfport, Mississippi this evening, before midnight. 

    THREATS

    Regardless of intensification the system will produce strong storm surge of around 4 feet from the Mobile Bay to the Pensacola region. Specifically 3 to 5 feet storm surge can be expected from the mouth of the Pearl River to Dauphin Island.

    Heavy rain will also be a concern across the northern Gulf States. Four to eight inches of rain are likely over the Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central Mississippi, northeastern Louisiana, and southern Arkansas. Higher isolated amounts of 12 inches are possible. 

    Tornadoes are also possible for southern Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. 

     

     

    Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence has formed far out over the Atlantic, where it doesn't currently pose a threat to any land.

    Florence is the third hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season.

    SEE FLORENCE LOCATION AND LAST 6 HOUR SATELLITE LOOP

     

    Check below for updates on Tropical Storm Gordon: 

    4:30 p.m.

    Tropical Storm Gordon could still become a hurricane as it zeroes in on the central Gulf Coast. Some parts of the Florida panhandle are already seeing bands of rain from the storm. 


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    11 a.m.

    The head of the U.S. National Hurricane Center says he isn't just worried about flooding from the ocean but also flooding from heavy rain from Tropical Storm Gordon.
     
    National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham says water will be the main story with the storm, currently forecast to make landfall in or near the Mississippi coast late Tuesday.
     
    Graham says a life-threatening storm surge of 3 of 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 meters) is predicted along the western Alabama, Mississippi and extreme eastern Louisiana coasts.
     
    Graham says heavy rain could also threaten lives. Up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain is expected on the storm's track into southern Arkansas, with some areas seeing up to 12 inches (30 centimeters).
     
    Graham said Tuesday in a Facebook Live video that even if the storm doesn't reach its forecast of hurricane strength its effect would be about the same.
     

    10 a.m.

    Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a state of emergency ahead of the expected landfall of Tropical Storm Gordon.
     
    Ivey's office says she signed the declaration Tuesday morning.
     
    Gordon is expected to scrape the Alabama coast as it is makes landfall in Mississippi late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning.
     
    The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning from the mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida border.

    Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings wrote on Twitter that coastal residents are urged to get to a safe location by Tuesday afternoon and stay there until Wednesday morning.

    9:10 a.m.
     
    Mississippi's governor has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Gordon approaches the Gulf Coast.
     
    Gov. Phil Bryant said Monday night that the declaration will make state resources and personnel available to areas affected by the storm.

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    The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency warned in a Tuesday update that tornadoes will be possible Tuesday afternoon through the evening. The agency says flash flooding, high winds and storm surge also threatened the southern part of the state.
     
    A hurricane warning is in effect for the mouth of the Pearl River in Mississippi to the Alabama-Florida border. The National Hurricane Center is predicting a "life-threatening" storm surge along parts of the central Gulf Coast.

    8:40 a.m.
     
    A number of schools near Pensacola in northwest Florida have called off classes as Tropical Storm Gordon spins through the Gulf of Mexico.

    Officials along Pensacola Beach say the waves are picking up Tuesday morning and lifeguards are warning beachgoers of the danger.

    Pensacola Water Safety Capt. Jake Wilson tells WEAR-TV the strong east wind is bringing a lateral current "where it's just going to push you down the beach."

    Wilson says beachgoers shouldn't get into the Gulf of Mexico when red flags are flying along the beaches.

    A hurricane warning is in effect for the mouth of the Pearl River in Mississippi to the Alabama-Florida border. The National Hurricane Center is predicting a "life-threatening" storm surge along parts of the central Gulf Coast.

    7:00 a.m.

    Tropical Storm Gordon is continuing to strengthen and is expected to become a hurricane late Tuesday when it hits the central U.S. Gulf Coast, including coastal Mississippi. From there, it is forecast to move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday. 

    5 a.m.

    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.

    Read: State of emergency declared in Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon

    The storm was centered 280 miles (450 kilometers) east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, forecasters said early Tuesday morning. Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 65 mph (100 kph).

    A hurricane warning was put into effect for the area stretching from the mouth of the Pearl River in Mississippi to the Alabama-Florida border.

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