Gulf Coast prepares for Gordon's expected arrival as hurricane


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.

The area along the coast (including parts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi), is now under a hurricane watch, and forecasters do believe that the storm could reach a Category 1 hurricane before it reaches land.

Gordon was forecast to come ashore between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. local time on Tuesday (0000 GMT to 0200 GMT Wednesday) along the Mississippi Gulf coast near the Louisiana state line as a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Meanwhile, Florence has been upgraded to hurricane status, packing 75-mph winds as it moves west-northwest at 12 miles per hour. The storm was expected to reach coastal Mississippi and Louisiana by late Tuesday and move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday. In this zone, the water could rise up 3 to 5 feet above normally dry land at the coast.

Heading northwest at 17 miles per hour (27 km/h), the National Hurricane Center predicts Gordon could strengthen to a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico before it likely makes landfall in MS early Wednesday.

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Authorities across the Gulf Coast urged people to stay out of the water - warnings that beach lovers like Cameron Armstrong and Matthew Ewbanks ignored on their visit to Gulf Shores on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Sustained winds of tropical-storm-force are likely in the zone under a hurricane warning, with the possibility of hurricane-force gusts, over 74 miles per hour. Its projected path moved further east on Monday, putting MS and Alabama under a hurricane warning.

Miami Beach Police said via Twitter that the Labor Day holiday was "NOT a beach day", with rough surf and potential rip currents.

Tropical storm force winds could arrive along the coast by Tuesday afternoon. He and other boaters had taken their boats inland in various rivers to protect them from the storm surge and winds. Rain and the flash flooding that can cause are the main threats expected from Gordon along with strong wind and storm surge. Still, the southeastern part of the state remains under a tropical storm warning and residents need to be prepared for the storm to shift west, Edwards said. If so, it will be dubbed Tropical Storm Gordon, forecasters at the National Weather Service said.

Areas under a storm surge watch and storm surge warning.