Biggest impacts from Gordon locally in the Gulf, near the coast

STORM UPDATE: Santa Rosa County public schools early release Tuesday - South Santa Rosa News

As of 2 a.m. Tuesday, Gordon was about 280 miles east-southeast of the mouth of Mississippi River.

Boaters evacuated to safe harbours, motorists left barrier islands and homeowners looked over yards that could soon be submerged in seawater.

Prices for West Texas Intermediate crude oil exceeded $71 on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday as Gordon was forecast to make landfall as a hurricane somewhere between the Florida panhandle and the central Louisiana coast. It was moving relatively quickly, at about 25 km/h.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency warned of storm surges of between 3 and 5 feet (1 and 1.5 meters) and told South Mississippi residents to be prepared to evacuate.

The governors of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have all declared states of emergency as the storm approaches.

"I'm asking all residents to do their part in getting ready for this storm", New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement.

A hurricane warning is in effect for all the Alabama and MS coast.

Tropical storm Gordon arrived in South Florida with wind and heavy rainfall for the Labour Day holiday.

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A third system, a tropical wave just east of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa, is also teeing up and should become a tropical depression by the end of the week or over the weekend.

"Whether or not Florence remains a danger to only shipping interests or threatens land will depend on how far west the storm tracks", Accuweather reported.

With memories of Katrina still lingering in New Orleans, officials issued a voluntary evacuation order for area's outside the city's levee protection system.

"All the outside furniture has to come in, but honestly it's not even a freak-out kind of hurricane, so we're not super-stressed right now", Manager Ashley Peeples said around midday Tuesday. More than 4000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power Monday due to weather conditions. Across the Gulf Coast, others are bracing for the storm, where punishing surf and rain has begun. "It's not going to sit out in the Gulf and get stronger and stronger".

"A front will stall over the area late this week at the same time the remnants of tropical storm "Gordon" will move over the central United States".

Off to the east coast of Florida, storms are developing.

No coastal watches or warnings are in effect through the weekend for Florence.

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