Without gathering hurricane strength the tropical storm Gordon made landfall Tuesday night near Alabama-Mississippi border after passing over the Florida Keys a day before.
The wind speed was 70 miles an hour, slightly less than a hurricane threshold, causing some damages like a young child was killed and a tree fell on a mobile home in West Pensacola, Fla.
Much of the Gulf Coast was under hurricane warning and several coastal parts of Alabama and Florida were warned of tropical storm, which could bring rain of up to 12 inches and cause flash flood.
Hurricane center said the storm could arrive in the warning areas by afternoon and residents are urged to listen to advice, usually delivered in local language, of the local officials, which forecasts threat of flooding too apart from heavy rainfall and a storm surge.
Meanwhile, states of emergency has been declared in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, and director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Brian E. Hastings, has urged people of flood-prone areas to move to safer places by afternoon.
He said, “Alabama is postured for a coastal wind and water event, but the key will be preparation of our citizens.”
Authorities have imposed curfews in couple of places, coastal casinos have been ordered to close and many schools have declared off for Tuesday and Wednesday. Harbors and marinas in the affected areas have been asked to evacuate.
To avoid any panic Mayor Andrew Gilich said it is just a preparation as rain and wind are expected and people are asked to do the same things as they have been doing.
Chief of the National Hurricane Center’s hurricane specialist unit, Michael Brennand, said the Gordon did not pick up strength due to wind shear that disrupt storm’s structure and there is plenty of dry air over the gulf.
September is mostly known for Atlantic hurricanes and last year was deadly with Harvey, Irma and Maria, but there are no signs of such strong storm in 2018. Last month National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lowered its forecast.
To track Gordon and other hurricanes the National Hurricane Center urges people to check its website for updates.