Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Tropical Storm Florence edges closer

Tropical Storm Florence edges closer

A hurricane warning was in effect Tuesday morning for all of coastal MS and Alabama, with a tropical storm warning reaching to Grand Isle, Louisiana, and Florida's Okaloosa-Walton county line.

Tropical Storm Gordon's gusty winds and heavy rains began buffeting the Alabama coast on Tuesday night after coastal residents from Florida to Louisiana hustled to prepare for the deluge.

The last time there was no hurricane between July 13 and September 3, peak season, was in 2013, Klotzbach said.

Though weeks away from land, Tropical Storm Florence gained strength in the Atlantic Ocean Sunday, drawing interest from forecasters in Raleigh.

After marching up from the Florida Keys and lashing South Florida on Monday with rain, Gordon was centered early Tuesday afternoon over the Gulf of Mexico, about 145 miles southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph.

Gordon's top sustained winds were down to 40 mph (64 kph) as its tight core moved about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Royal Caribbean is looking at a possible late departure for Majesty of the Seas out of Tampa, Florida today.

Maximum sustained winds are near 70 miles per hour with higher gusts.

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The Florida Keys have already experienced the heavy rain and wind from the tropical storm. A Flood Watch is in effect for those same counties through Monday evening. It will likely strengthen a bit, but still stay a tropical storm.

Hurricane warnings stretch from the Florida/Alabama border to the Louisiana/Mississippi border as the storm center is most likely to strike along the Mississippi or Alabama coastline.

The center says Gordon will bring heavy rainfall to southwest Alabama, southern and central MS, southeastern and northeastern Louisiana and southeast Arkansas through late Thursdays.

But the storm's impact could have been worse: Gordon gave only a glancing blow to New Orleans, where Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city now has "the pumps and the power" needed to protect residents inside the levee protection system. Tropical Storm Warnings are also in effect for inland areas of Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. 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.

Rip current risks are in place along Florida's south east coast, north east coast and along the shore between Tallahassee and Pensacola.

Tropical Storm Florence is moving in the direction of Bermuda. These locations can expect a surge of 3-5 feet as the storm moves ashore late Tuesday into Wednesday.

Panama City and much of the Panhandle could see between 1.00 and 1.5 inches of rain through Thursday.

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