A strengthened Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to hit the Gulf Coast as a hurricane late Tuesday, a day after pounding South Florida with heavy rain and strong winds.
The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning from the mouth of the Pearl River, which separates southern Mississippi from the easternmost part of Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border.
Gordon formed into a tropical storm near the Florida Keys early Monday as it headed west-northwest at 17 mph. After hitting the Gulf Coast as an expected hurricane, it is forecast to move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday.
Parts of the Gulf Coast could get up to eight inches of rain through Thursday.
The storm was centered 280 miles east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, forecasters said early Tuesday morning. Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 65 mph.
The National Hurricane Center also issued a storm surge warning, meaning possible “danger of life-threatening inundation,” for late Tuesday for the area stretching from Shell Beach, Louisiana, to Dauphin Island, Alabama.
“The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves,” the center said.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Monday and said 200 National Guard troops will be deployed to the southeastern part of the state.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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