Gordon lashes Florida Panhandle as Gulf Coast preps for storm surge

1 year 1 month 2 weeks ago Tuesday, September 04 2018 Sep 4, 2018 Tuesday, September 04, 2018 11:05:00 AM CDT September 04, 2018 in News
By: Jason Hanna, Susannah Cullinane and Joe Sutton, CNN

(CNN) -- Tropical Storm Gordon's outer bands are dropping rain on the Florida Panhandle as the storm aims to smack the Gulf Coast on Tuesday night -- possibly as a hurricane -- with potentially life-threatening storm surge across parts of coastal Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, forecasters said.

Seawater could spill onshore as high as 3 to 5 feet, spelling significant trouble for roads and towns along the coast.

"If you are less than 3 to 5 feet above sea level (in the warning area), you need to get away from that water, especially up those rivers, because that's where that water will be going," CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said Tuesday morning.

TRACK GORDON HERE

After marching up from the Florida Keys and lashing South Florida on Monday with rain, Gordon was centered late Tuesday morning over the Gulf of Mexico, about 145 miles east-southeast of the Mississippi River's mouth, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph.

Gordon is expected to strengthen into a hurricane, with sustained winds of at least 74 mph, before it reaches the north central Gulf Coast late Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

But tropical storm conditions -- winds of at least 39 mph -- could hit the Gulf Coast as early as Tuesday afternoon.

Schools in parts of coastal Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi were closed Tuesday, and others announced they would open for only part of their normal day.

Gordon could drop heavy rain -- generally 4 to 8 inches, but as many as 12 -- from Florida's western panhandle to southern Arkansas through Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Floodgates close near New Orleans

Across the region, governments and residents are making preparations.

In coastal Mississippi's Jackson County, people filled bags with sand at government distribution points Monday, intending to line their homes with them to avert flooding.

Among them was Jose Rivera, who moved from Puerto Rico to Mississippi after Hurricane Maria devastated the island last year, CNN affiliate WLOX reported.

Rivera said he is worried about Gordon.

"He said he doesn't want the same thing that happened in Puerto Rico over here," Rivera's grandson, translating from Spanish, told the station.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared emergencies. Edwards also activated 200 National Guard members.

In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a voluntary evacuation notice for areas outside the levee system.

The city expects to feel the storm's impact beginning late Tuesday and continuing through Wednesday, she said. City Hall and government offices will close Tuesday for nonessential employees.

In anticipation of heavy rains, the Flood Protection Authority-East (FPA) closed 38 floodgates, 13 valve gates and a concrete barge gate on the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier near New Orleans, according to a news release. Another seven floodgates and the Caernarvon Sector Gate were set to be closed Tuesday.

The gates are in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, primarily along the Industrial Canal and susceptible to high-tide conditions if not closed, the city said. Levee overtopping and breaches at these locations in 2005 led to devastating flooding from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward, the city's eastern swath and in St. Bernard Parish.

As of Monday night, the FPA did not anticipate that three pump stations and closure structures at Lake Pontchartrain would be activated but was is prepared to do so if the forecast changes and water levels reach key thresholds, according to the press release.

Boats ordered out of the water in Biloxi and Gulfport

In Mississippi, vessels in the harbors of Biloxi and Gulfport have been ordered to evacuate by 2 p.m. Tuesday due to the risk from storm surge there.

"We're asking people to do the same things that we're doing: prepare," Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich said in a statement. "There's no reason to be alarmed. We're being told to expect rain and wind, and we're preparing accordingly. We expect our citizens to be doing the same."

Airlines including DeltaSouthwest and Frontier warned that delays and flight cancellations are possible at airports near the Gulf Coast because of the storm, and that they may waive fees for itinerary changes.

Warnings in effect

A hurricane warning was in effect Tuesday morning for all of coastal Mississippi and Alabama, with a tropical storm warning reaching to Grand Isle, Louisianaand Florida's Okaloosa-Walton county line.

A storm surge warning was in effect for the area between Shell Beach, Louisiana, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with predicted heights of up to 3 to 5 feet if the peak surge coincides with high tide. A storm surge watch spread west to the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, and east to Navarre, Florida.

Tornadoes also are possible through Tuesday night near the Mississippi, Alabama and Florida coasts, the NHC said.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri group pushing to expand access to voting is going to court over how... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 4:19:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA — California police chief Shane Templeton has announced he will resign from his position on October 31. This... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 3:42:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital Center was recognized Monday for a fourth consecutive Magnet® recognition. Magnet is the highest honor... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 2:52:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Sheriff's Department said Monday people should be wary of someone spoofing the department's main... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 2:22:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. — A clinic quietly constructed in southern Illinois to meet demand for abortion services by residents... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 12:09:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
FULTON - U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer is pushing for legislation that could offer more mobile mammogram services to rural communities... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 10:34:00 AM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors filed formal charges against Cameron White, 19, on Monday, charging him with second degree murder and armed... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 10:18:00 AM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- According to Missouri KidsFirst, almost one in ten kids will be sexually abused by the time they are... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 7:37:00 AM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Attorney General Eric Schmitt is set to host four senior safety presentations in October. The presentations,... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 8:43:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 600 people and 11 sponsors gathered in Cosmo Park for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:53:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — David Cover, a co-pastor at The Crossing, addressed the controversy over last week's sermon by fellow co-paster... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police arrested a man on multiple charges after the shooting of a 13-year-old boy Saturday night. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 1:15:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One person was transported to the hospital in relation to a weapons offense Sunday morning, according to... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 11:27:00 AM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Children in St. Louis have been the victim of homicides at 10 times the national rate... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:34:54 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is reversing his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:19:49 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police were seen searching the area near the scene of a crash Saturday afternoon. Police responded to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 8:31:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members came together Saturday for a Walk and Roll-A-Thon in recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month. ... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 5:11:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Demonstrators rallied at Speakers Circle on Saturday for the first ever National Period Day. Organizers said they... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:47:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 57°
7pm 54°
8pm 52°
9pm 52°
10pm 52°