Emergency declared as Tropical Storm Gordon heads for Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Gordon races toward US Gulf Coast

Gordon Is Forecast To Hit Northern Gulf Coast As A Hurricane Tuesday Night

Tropical Storm Gordon has formed near the Florida Keys and south Florida with winds gusting up to 45-miles-per-hour and heavy rains as Labor Day weekend comes to a close.

The National Hurricane Center has continued a Hurricane Warning for the Alabama & Mississippi Gulf Coasts through Wednesday, with a Tropical Storm Warning along the coast of Louisiana & Florida.

Heavy rainfall from Gordon will affect the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central MS, much of eastern Louisiana and southern Arkansas, where totals could reach as high as 12 inches, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Airlines including Delta, Southwest and Frontier warned that delays and flight cancellations are possible at airports near the Gulf Coast because of the storm, and that they may waive fees for itinerary changes.

Louisiana's state governor, John Bel Edwards, declared a state of emergency on Monday, which triggers federal assistance as well as warnings to the public, and said 200 national guard troops would be deployed to south-eastern Louisiana.

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All of Okaloosa and Santa Rosa Counties are under a tropical storm warning.

As of 5 p.m. Gordon has strengthened to 70 miles per hour sustained winds just shy of hurricane force (74 mph).

Now carrying winds of around 65 miles per hour (105 km per hour), the storm was expected to pack hurricane-force winds - of at least 74 mph (119 kph) - when it reached the Gulf Coast, the center said.

It is expected to rapidly weaken into a tropical depression on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in the tropics, Florence has become our third named hurricane of the 2018 season as it moves across the Central Atlantic.

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Oil futures climbed Tuesday, with U.S. futures edging above $70 a barrel, on concerns that a looming tropical storm off the U.S. Gulf Coast could hit oil production.

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

"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.

These locations can expect a surge of 3-5 feet as the storm moves ashore this evening.

But authorities issued a voluntary evacuation order for some areas outside the city's levee protection system.

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