Florence strengthens to a hurricane

Florence strengthens to a hurricane

I-95 Northbound is bumper to bumper traffic on Monday, Sept. 3, 2018 as Tropical Storm Gordon lashed South Florida with heavy rains and high winds on Monday, forcing holiday beachgoers to drier ground.

The National Hurricane Center has continued a Hurricane Warning for the Alabama & Mississippi Gulf Coasts through Wednesday, with a Tropical Storm Warning along the coast of Louisiana & Florida.

Sandbags were filled, patio furniture was taken inside, and shoppers stocked up on batteries and bottled water as people along the Gulf Coast prepared Tuesday for Tropical Storm Gordon, which was forecast to become the second hurricane to hit the region in less than a year.

The storm dumped heavy rain through must of the day, drenching parts of South Florida with up to five inches.

As of 2 a.m. Tuesday, Gordon was about 280 miles east-southeast of the mouth of Mississippi River.

"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves", the center said.

While that storm has already caused evacuations and oil prices to surge, forecasters are keeping an eye on what could come next.

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At the airport itself, one runway was under water and one terminal's basement was flooded , an airport spokesman said . People in Kobe reported on Twitter that the wind was shaking their apartment buildings and ripping branches off trees.

A few tornadoes are possible this afternoon through tonight near the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Monday and said 200 National Guard troops will be deployed to southeastern Louisiana.

Gulf Power, another electricity supplier, also used Twitter to say: "The northeast section of Gordon continues to pound away at us with about 10,000 customers without power".

Gordon wasn't the only storm being watched by forecasters. Gordon, or the remnants of Gordon, will be weakening pretty quickly as it continues to move northwestward. Schools have been closed along the coast and governors in MS and Louisiana have already declared a state of emergency as the storm advances.

Meanwhile, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned: "The city's absolute number one priority is to ensure the safety of our residents".

The long-range forecast map for the storm shows it slowly turning to the northwest as it approaches Bermuda by the end of the week.

A warning means the expected conditions (winds greater that 74 mph for hurricanes and winds greater than 39 mph for tropical storm-force winds) are likely within the next 36 hours.

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