Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall near Pascagoula (Mississippi), around 22:00 (local time) on Tuesday, September 4, bringing strong winds and heavy rains the area. At least two tornadoes were spotted near Pensacola Bay at 21:55. One child was killed in Pensacola (Florida), when a downed tree fell on a house. After making landfall late on Tuesday, Gordon was downgraded to a tropical depression early Wednesday morning, September 5. Gordon had weakened from sustained winds of 110 km/h (70 mph) at landfall to 50 km/h (30 mph) as of 13:00 on Wednesday. The storm is expected to continue to weaken as it moves northwest through Mississippi and Arkansas in the coming days.
Heavy rain of 10-20 cm (4-8 in) and isolated amounts of up to 30 cm (12 in) is expected along the coast and up the Mississippi River valley as far as southern Arkansas and central Mississippi. Isolated tornadoes remain possible in the path of the storm. As of 13:00 on Wednesday, approximately 8000 people remained without power in Mobile county (Alabama). The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings issued through 19:00 Wednesday for Choctaw, Washington, Mobile, Baldwin, Clarke, Monroe, Wilcox, Conecuh, and Escambia counties in Alabama as well as Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties in Florida. Additional flash flood watches in effect for dozens of countries in Arkansas and Mississippi. There were several reports of flooding and road closures throughout the affected areas on Wednesday, including the closure of the Mobile Causeway's eastbound lanes. It was not immediately clear when power would be fully restored or when closed roads would be reopened. Further information on the storm can be found on the National Weather Service website.
Gordon formed as a tropical disturbance and consolidated into a coherent storm on morning of September 3. It is the seventh storm to form in the Atlantic basin this hurricane season. Tropical cyclones and hurricanes in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are common from June through November.
Individuals present in the affected areas are advised to keep abreast of local weather forecasts, anticipate localized flooding and associated transportation disruptions, plan alternate routes, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.
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