Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency after the National Hurricane Center forecasted that Tropical Storm Gordon will become a hurricane and make landfall over the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday night. The center further warned that the storm could be “life threatening.”
Gordon has been generating winds of 65 miles per hour and is expected to bring 8 inches of rain and 5-foot storm surges to the border between Louisiana and Mississippi, an area that is still recuperating from Hurricane Harvey and other major storms last year. The National Hurricane center also warned that tornadoes and severe thunderstorms could form in Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. Flash flooding is expected to inundate parts of Arkansas, Florida, and Alabama through Thursday as well.
Officials have warned residents near the Gulf Coast of power outages and possible property damage. Edwards has deployed 200 Louisiana National Guardsman, along with 39 boats, four helicopters, and 63 high-water trucks. New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell has also declared a state of emergency and issued a voluntary evacuation order, and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has recommended that residents in southern areas of the state be prepared to evacuate. The U.S. Coast Guard has further notified ports in Louisiana and Mississippi that they may have to shut down in 48 hours, and the Anadarko Petroleum Corp withdrew employees and suspended production at two Gulf Coast oil platforms.
Gordon became a tropical storm on Monday near the Florida Keys and made landfall over South Florida later in the day, lashing the area with heavy rains and winds throughout the day. As of Tuesday morning, the storm was centered 190 miles southeast of the Mississippi River.
Weather services are predicting that it will move inland over the Mississippi Valley on Wednesday after making a second landfall on Tuesday, possibly as a Category 1 hurricane. Gordon will likely dissipate by Saturday.
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