Science

Child killed as tropical storm Gordon makes landfall on US Gulf Coast

Child killed as tropical storm Gordon makes landfall on US Gulf Coast

Gordon made landfall late night Tuesday along the Alabama-Mississippi border with winds of up to 70 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Centre.

"Given a tropical cyclone's strongest winds are usually are on its eastern side, that's why the NHC issued a hurricane warning for parts of the MS and Alabama coasts", The Weather Channel reports.

With memories of the August 2016 floods fresh in mind, local business owners are keeping a close eye on and bracing for Tropical Storm Gordon, which is forecast to make landfall tonight as a Category 1 hurricane.

Emergency management in Escambia County reported to the Weather Service that a tree had blown down on a mobile home, causing one fatality.

"The remnants of Gordon will spread areas of heavy rain into southeast Arkansas Wednesday night", forecasters Chuck Rickard and John Lewis said in a statement.

Earlier, families filled sandbags, took patio furniture inside and stocked up on batteries and bottled water as the Gulf Coast in the southern United States prepared for Tropical Storm Gordon, which could strengthen and become the second hurricane to hit the region in less than a year.

A tornado or two is possible today and tonight over MS and western Alabama. Isolated spots will see 12 inches of rain, with widespread totals between 4 and 8 inches.

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There was some structural damage to properties but mayor Jeff Collier said: "For the most part, we did OK".

Early Tuesday, Gordon was packing maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour - short of the 74-mph threshold for a hurricane.

MS shut down a dozen Gulf Coast casinos, while workers on at least 54 oil and gas production platforms were evacuated. "Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for additional development, and a tropical depression is expected to form by the end of the week while the system moves west-northwestward across the tropical Atlantic Ocean". By Wednesday afternoon the numbers were down to about 5,800 in Alabama, 3,000 in MS and a little more than 2,000 in Florida. MS shut down a dozen Gulf Coast casinos.

"This is the price you pay to look at this handsome water and enjoy the coast", Pascagoula resident Richard Whitlock said as he raked leaves and branches from his yard overlooking the Gulf.

Gordon was not the only storm being watched by forecasters.

Driftwood and other debris made for hazardous driving early Wednesday on the causeway to Dauphin Island, Alabama, which was partly flooded by seawater overnight, leaving people to drive over sand and around lawn furniture on the main road. "Sometimes it starts pushing not only water across but debris, logs and things of that nature, which makes it very treacherous to get across", he had said.

"Hopefully we get some beneficial rain from that", Drake said. It is among three systems in the Atlantic that Florida residents should monitor as we near the peak of hurricane season in just five days.


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