Tropical Storm Gordon lashes Florida with heavy rain, winds

Storm surges from 3 to 5 feet are expected from Shell Beach to the Mississippi-Alabama border, and from 2 to 4 feet from Navarre, Fla., to the Mississippi-Alabama border, and from Shell Beach to the mouth of Mississippi River.

Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News. Florence's sustained winds have reached almost 65 miles per hour and the storm is expected to grow stronger later today, according to the National Hurricane Center. The area has already been heavily impacted by this summer's so-called "red tide" - massive algae blooms that have caused waves of dead marine life to wash up along the coast.

Tropical Storm Gordon appeared to be gathering strength as it emerged into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday afternoon, and the National Hurricane Center's forecast track takes the core of the storm very close to Alabama by Tuesday night. This will mean some flooding possibilities for Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, and the Mobile area. The storm is threatening the Florida Panhandle, and Alabama and Louisiana coasts with rain, wind and waves.

The storm was gaining strength and was expected to become a hurricane as it comes ashore late on Tuesday near the border between Louisiana and MS, and drop as much as 20cm of rain in some areas of the US South still reeling from hurricanes a year ago. The storm was expected to reach coastal Mississippi and Louisiana by late Tuesday and move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday. Hurricane Florence was some 2,400 miles (3,900 kilometres) away from the US, and another potential storm was likely to form not far off the coast of Africa and head east.

A hurricane watch has been issued for portions of the central U.S. Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Gordon approaches.

A hurricane watch - meaning that hurricane conditions are possible - was put into effect for the area stretching from the mouth of the Pearl River in MS to the Alabama-Florida border. Isolated tornadoes are possible.

Rick Scott urged Floridians and those visiting Florida to check the weather, as weather experts advise beachgoers to swim near a lifeguard due to high rip current risks. Conditions were expected to deteriorate westward to New Orleans as the stormed closed in on the coast, possibly becoming the second hurricane to hit the region in less than a year.

Flooding was also a high risk for the areas affected by the storm, including portions of southeast Louisiana north of Interstate 10 and southwest MS west of Interstate 55.

Florence isn't now a threat to land and it's still unclear what impact the storm will have on Bermuda.

Gordon's winds were already up to 50 miles per hour in the last hurricane center update at 1 p.m. CDT Monday.

Maximum sustained winds of the unnamed system have been clocked at 30mph and the system is moving west-northwest at 15mph.

  • Valerie Cook