Florida Child Killed After Tropical Storm Gordon Strikes Land

Cristina Cross
September 6, 2018

One child was reportedly killed and thousands are without power as Tropical Storm Gordon smashed into the central Gulf Coast, making landfall between Alabama and the Florida panhandle Tuesday night with high-force winds and a heavy downpour.

Still, tropical storm, storm-surge and flash-flood warnings are in effect through early Wednesday night for the Crescent City with "potential threat to life and property", the National Weather Service said today.

Now carrying winds of around 65 miles per hour (105 km per hour), the storm was expected to pack hurricane-force winds - of at least 74 mph (119 kph) - when it reached the Gulf Coast, the center said.

Forecasters say Gordon, after some strengthening late Tuesday, now packs top sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.

The last hurricane to strike the US was Nate, which came ashore in Biloxi, Mississippi, last October.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, as did New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. Storm surge warnings and watches extended across most of the northern Gulf Coast early Tuesday, along with hurricane and tropical storm warnings. The storm later weakened into a depression on Wednesday, dumping heavy rains across southern states.

The storm formed near the Florida Keys on Monday, bringing stormy conditions to the south of the state.

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Thomas had been working out primarily in his native Texas, and specifically in Austin, where he attended the University of Texas. A later report stated Thomas was in town exclusively to accompany his daughter to her first day of school.

Siding was peeled off some houses, but Mayor Jeff Collier said "for the most part, we did OK".

The tropics: With Gordon fading away as a swirl of showers and storms over MS and Arkansas our attention will now turn to Florence, which is a powerful category 2 hurricane and although expected to weaken could still pose a threat to the United States later next week.

More than 27,000 customers were without power as Gordon began pushing ashore, mostly in coastal Alabama and the western tip of the Florida Panhandle around Pensacola, with a few hundred in southeastern Mississippi.

As it crosses the Gulf Tuesday, forecasters say the storm will encounter some upper level wind shear, the hurricane-smothering atmospheric winds that up to now have helped keep the season in check.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the entire MS and Alabama coasts with the possibility Gordon would become a Category 1 storm.

Tropical storm conditions - winds of at least 39 miles per hour - could hit the Gulf Coast earlier.

Gordon is expected to pass through the eastern edge of the Gulf's offshore oil and natural gas platforms where it will probably have little impact because it isn't that strong and will pass through the area quickly, according to the Commodity Weather Group.

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