Tropical Storm Gordon hits southern US

Tropical Storm Gordon lashes Florida with heavy rain, winds

The National Hurricane Centre said Tropical Storm Gordon was weakening on a path into Arkansas after striking the coast at 70mph, just shy of hurricane strength, near Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Hurricane Florence has strengthened into a major Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 130 miles per hour with higher gusts as of 5 p.m.

The NHC's key messages are that heavy rainfall from Gordon will affect the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central MS, northeastern Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, southern Iowa and IL, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches through early Saturday.

A child has died in Florida after a tropical storm blew a tree onto a mobile home in as it made landfall in America.

States of emergency were issued for Mississippi, Louisiana and parts of Alabama.

In Pensacola, a 10-month-old baby was killed when a large limb from an oak tree fell on a mobile home.

The threat of heavy rains and flooding will continue for several days in the Mississippi Valley, forecasters said.

Rain was still falling but the lights were on Wednesday morning at a Waffle House restaurant in Mobile, where factory worker Jerome Richardson said he lost power in the storm Tuesday night.




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

In coastal Mississippi's Jackson County, people filled bags with sand at government distribution points, intending to line their homes with them to avert flooding. The name and age were not released.

Others did their familiar pre-storm preparation rituals, including the staff at The Hotel Whiskey in Pass Christian, Mississippi, only about a block from the coast.

Gordon is on track to become the first tropical storm to make landfall in the usa this season. Models are suggesting this wave will turn more to the north in the central Atlantic, in between two ridges of high pressure. It brought with it heavy rains and sustained winds of 70 miles per hour, just shy of hurricane strength.

"We don't want to go through what we went through before", O'Neal says.

A auto drives along a road slowly beginning to flood as tropical storm Gordon approaches in Dauphin Island, Ala. The storm, which has since been downgraded to a depression, dumped heavy rains across southern states.

Energy companies and port operators along the U.S. Gulf Coast took steps on Wednesday to resume operations after Tropical Storm Gordon shut more than 9 percent of the region's oil and gas output.

The peak of hurricane season is September 10. "Now is a good time to review family emergency plans to ensure who you have the necessities", the DDM said.

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