Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Florence strengthens to a hurricane

STORM UPDATE: Santa Rosa County public schools early release Tuesday - South Santa Rosa News Tropical Storm Gordon in gulf, moving away from Florida
Glenn Montgomery | 05 September, 2018, 15:01

The child, whose age and identity were not released, died when a tree fell on top of a mobile home. Gordon expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane (max sustained winds of 75 miles per hour) between New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama.

The Miami-based forecasting center says the storm could become a hurricane before expected landfall sometime Tuesday night along the north-central Gulf Coast.

More than 27,000 customers are without power Tuesday night as tropical storm Gordon began pushing ashore.

Coastal areas from the Florida Panhandle to Louisiana could experience 4-8 inches of rain, with isolated totals of 12 inches through late Thursday that could cause unsafe flash flooding and "life-threatening" storm surge, according to the hurricane center.

The storm is forecast to quickly weaken as it moves inland across Mississippi, Louisiana and into Arkansas through Thursday.

As Tropical Storm Gordon heads toward the MS coast, we asked if the storm will affect Fort Worth. The Coast Guard has warned that three ports nearby may need to be closed, including New Orleans, and Gulfport and Pascagoula in Mississippi.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the mouth of the Pearl River in MS to the Alabama-Florida border.

The U.S. Gulf Coast refineries represent more than 45 percent of the national refining capacity, and the Gulf of Mexico yields 17 percent of the country's total oil production.

But the Bermuda Weather Service said Florence could have its closest point of approach to the island within three days, with forecasts putting it 730 miles to the east southeast of the island around noon on Friday.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, saying 200 Louisiana National Guardsmen were being deployed, along with 63 high-water trucks, 39 boats, and 4 helicopters. We're being told to expect rain and wind, and we're preparing accordingly.

"When you get the higher waves, water starts splashing across".

Prices had jumped the previous day as dozens of USA oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico were shut in anticipation of damage from tropical storm Gordon.

Stay turned to WJHG/WECP for the latest on Gordon as we watch it every step of the way.

The storm's predicted track had shifted slightly east as of Monday evening, meaning Louisiana is now just outside the area under the hurricane warning.

While the 2018 hurricane season has been a quiet one for the Cape Fear coast so far, September - and even October (Hurricane Hazel in 1954) - has historically been a busy time for tropical weather systems to menace the Wilmington area. In this scenario, the storm could be forced west and move toward the eastern USA coast.

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