U.S. Gulf Coast bracing for Hurricane Gordon as storm nears

Tropical Storm Gordon has formed

Residents in parts of South Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana are being warned to prepare for tropical storm-force winds with the onset of Tropical Storm Gordon.

Tropical Storm Gordon is on its way into the Gulf of Mexico, and CNN reports that it could reach hurricane status by the time it makes landfall. It was centered 330 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, as the storm moves west-northwest at 17 mph.

The storm could still pump up to a hurricane before making landfall Tuesday night.

Tropical Storm Gordon has formed and is continuing to strengthen.

Right now, the storm is moving steadily northwest at a speed of about 16 miles per hour. Many area schools and businesses planned to remain closed or open late Wednesday. From there, it is forecast to move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday.

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Boaters evacuated to safe harbors, motorists left barrier islands, and homeowners looked over yards that could soon be submerged in seawater.

The storm began as a tropical wave over the Caribbean last week.

Pensacola Water Safety Capt. It is incredibly unlikely we will feel winds that strong here in Kentuckiana.

The Hurricane Center issued storm surge warnings from Shell Beach, La.to the MS border with Alabama.

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. The warning means there is danger of life-threatening inundation.

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As a precaution, Governor Edwards confirmed 200 members of the Louisiana National Guard will be sent to the southeastern portion of the state on Tuesday morning.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency as the storm bore down on his state's coast, as did Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.

Gordon, the seventh named storm of the season, was expected to form once it reached the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but spun up a little before the forecast predicted.

Grand Isle Mayor David Campardelle called for a voluntary evacuation of the barrier island.

Fort Lauderdale and Dania Beach officials said minimal erosion took place, while the beachfront near Boynton Beach was showing chunks had washed away, leaving a cliff-like appearance.

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The National Hurricane Centre is also tracking Tropical Storm Olivia and Hurricane Norman in the eastern Pacific.

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