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Hurricane Gordon: Storm set to smash into U.S. within hours

Hurricane Gordon: Storm set to smash into U.S. within hours

Tropical Storm Gordon never became a hurricane but it was deadly all the same, killing a child by blowing a tree onto a mobile home as it made landfall late Tuesday just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border.

Gordon careened into the coastline around 10 p.m., clocking maximum sustained winds of 70 miles-per-hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Flash flood watches stretched Wednesday from the Florida panhandle, through parts of southwest Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and IL.

The storm was producing gusty winds and heavy rain along the coast of the western Florida Panhandle and along the Texas coast, the National Hurricane Center said in an afternoon advisory.

Governors in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama declared a state of emergency, while companies cut 9 per cent of US Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production.

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

The heaviest rain from Gordon will be from the northern Gulf Coast to parts of Arkansas, and will last through Thursday.

"If you are less than 3 to 5 feet above sea level (in the warning area), you need to get away from that water, especially up those rivers, because that's where that water will be going", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. 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.

In coastal Mississippi's Jackson County, people filled bags with sand at government distribution points Monday, intending to line their homes with them to avert flooding. The name and age of the child were not released. And residents along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which expected a serious hit, were largely spared.

As of early Wednesday morning, she was about two thousand miles from shore, but Florence was already blowing 125 mph winds. Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall in Panama City Beach on May 28, and the Atlantic Basin hasn't produced any storms that threatened the United States since then.

He said the risk of flash flooding was moderate in Alabama and the area where Arkansas, Louisiana and MS converge.

"Once we have confirmed that our systems are both safe and operational, we will begin the process of returning to normal operations", a spokeperson said on Wednesday.

Mayors of barrier islands in the storm's path had warned that their communities might get cut off from the mainland. "Now is a good time to review family emergency plans to ensure who you have the necessities", the DDM said.

One thing is evident as we scan the Atlantic basin: the tropics are starting to bubble up and right on cue with the statistical peak of hurricane season.



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