A hurricane watch is in effect for the area from the Mississippi-Louisiana border to the Alabama-Florida border. At 10:52 Eastern Standard Time, a tornado was confirmed over Galt City, Florida, near Milton, moving northwest at 35 miles per hour. The wind forecast will remain the same, with gusts generally as high as 35-40 miles per hour.
Tropical Storm Gordon's passing helped clear out some Bay area beaches that have been hit hard by red tide, but the relief may only be temporary.
The commission closed the casinos for 15 hours as Tropical Storm Gordon churned in the Gulf, eventually making landfall near Jackson County about 10 p.m. Tuesday. No other deaths associated with the storm have been reported. The next name on the list is Helene, followed by Isaac.
A fourth system, a potential tropical wave, is forecast to move off the African coast in the next few days.
In its 8 a.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center downgraded Gordon to a tropical depression as it moved farther inland across Mississippi, Louisiana and into Arkansas through Thursday. As Gordon moves away from Floridas west coast, forecasters said it will pull deep tropical moisture into the region during the afternoon, producing scattered thunderstorms that will gradually dissipate later in the evening.
Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Monday and says 200 National Guard troops will be deployed to southeastern Louisiana.
Gordon becomes latest tropical storm moving toward New Orleans
Red flags flew over Pensacola-area beaches in Florida's Panhandle, where swimming and wading in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited. Gordon was generating winds of 80 km/h on Monday as it steamed west-northwest at 27 km/h, the National Hurricane Centre said.
Schools in parts of coastal Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and MS were closed Tuesday, and others announced they would open for only part of their normal day. Forecast models have been inconsistent in determining the future path of Florence, either keeping it out to sea or bringing it closer to the east coast of the United States.
Boaters are evacuating to safe harbors, and motorists are fleeing barrier islands as the Gulf Coast hustles to get ready for the storm.
"Besides road flooding, you could have trees coming over on power lines and causing power outages and that's just one of the things".
Visiting from Nashville, the couple planned to stay on the island despite the storm.
"Everybody is just waiting it out to see what is going to happen", she said.
Tropical Storm Gordon weakened into a depression on Wednesday but was dumping heavy rains that threatened to cause floods across several southern USA states while Hurricane Florence strengthened to a Category 4 storm and could menace Bermuda.