Tropical Storm Gordon has formed

Tropical Storm Gordon has formed

At about 15 miles west-southwest of Marco Island, FL., the tropical storm is heading west-northwest at 16 mph, with sustained winds of around 45 mph.

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. Sustained winds could peak at 30 to 35 miles per hour with gusts over 40 miles per hour in parts of coastal Lee and Collier Counties late Monday afternoon and Monday evening.

The storm is forecasted to make landfall near New Orleans and continue to move northwest towards Texarkana through the end of the week.

A Tropical Storm Warning was issued along the South Florida coast from Golden Beach to Bonita Beach, and for the Florida Keys from Craig Key to Ocean Reef, including Florida Bay.

The Naples Daily News reports that Naples beachfront stores were getting hardly any foot traffic Monday as the storm approached.

At Lowdermilk Park, the beach was almost empty despite there being no signs of red tide.

The weather delivered a blow to businesses during the holiday weekend.

Gordon struck the coast at 70 miles per hour, just shy of hurricane strength, near Pascagoula, Mississippi late Tuesday.

Tropical Storm warnings are also in effect for the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible.

In Tallahassee, city officials offered sandbags to help homeowners prepare for potential flooding.

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The Miami-based center said Sunday evening that the storm system is brewing about 385 kilometers east-southeast of Marathon in the Florida Keys.

Separately, Tropical Storm Florence continues to hold steady over the eastern Atlantic.

Gordon is expected to weaken as it moves inland later in the week.

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

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. Isolated tornadoes are possible. Conditions were expected to deteriorate westward to New Orleans as the stormed closed in on the coast, possibly becoming the second hurricane to hit the region in less than a year.

Conditions should improve along the coast during the day Wednesday, while heavy rain expands inland through western MS, northeast Louisiana, and southeast Arkansas.

Some communities in South Florida were assessing the damage Tuesday after bands of weather left swaths of beachfront sand missing in some places.

'The heaviest rains (are) likely (Monday) morning, ' said National Weather Service meteorologist Stephen Konarik in Miami.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for waters offshore of Apalachicola west to Walton/Okaloosa Counties.

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