Tropical Storm Gordon is continuing its push toward the northern Gulf Coast.
Packing winds of 65 miles per hour, the storm is just 9 miles per hour from hurricane-strength, which it is predicted to attain before coming ashore.
Parts of the Louisiana and MS coasts were under a hurricane warning as fast-developing Tropical Storm Gordon swamped South Florida on its way to the northern Gulf of Mexico. After making landfall, it is expected to charge inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday.
The Mississippi cities of Gulfport, Biloxi and Long Beach ordered mandatory evacuations of their harbors and marinas, and the U.S. Coast Guard said the ports of New Orleans and of Gulfport and Pascagoula in Mississippi could have to be closed if winds get too strong.
Cantrell urged residents within the levee protection area to stock up on supplies and shelter in place.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Okaloosa-Walton County Line and stretches from Golden Beach to Bonita Beach and from Craig Key to Ocean Reef, including Florida Bay.
Tropical Storm Gordon Forms, Heading to The Gulf States
And isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches of rain were possible over the southern Florida peninsula, according to the NHC. Forecasters say little change in strength is expected in coming days and no coastal watches or warnings are in effect.
The Naples Daily News reports that Naples beachfront stores were getting hardly any foot traffic Monday as the storm approached.
At Lowdermilk Park, the beach was almost empty despite there being no signs of red tide.
Tropical-storm-force winds could reach the western Florida panhandle Tuesday afternoon and the Alabama-Mississippi coastline by early evening.
Barricades and "high water" signs were also moved to the New Orleans area in case of need.
Tropical Storm Gordon is set to slam into the north central Gulf Coast on Tuesday night.
A hurricane watch is in place for the MS and Alabama as Gordon moves into the Gulf of Mexico.
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Heavy rain will still be likely closer to the eye of the storm.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency warned of storm surges of between 3 and 5 feet (1 and 1.5 meters) and told South Mississippi residents to be prepared to evacuate.
As of 2 a.m. Tuesday, Gordon was about 280 miles east-southeast of the mouth of Mississippi River. Isolated tornadoes are possible. Scattered showers and thunderstorms were expected to continue through Tuesday as the storm intensified but moved away from central Florida, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Dustin Norman.
The storm left many businesses on Florida's Gulf Coast feeling shortchanged by the holiday weekend. The highest risk of flash flooding extends into extreme southeastern and northeastern Louisiana and southeastern Arkansas.
Separately, the Atlantic was expected "to stay active" in the coming days, the National Hurricane Center said.
There is a Storm Surge Watch in effect for the Mississippi-Alabama border westward to the Mouth of the Mississippi River. The first is its speed - Gordon is moving relatively fast at 17 miles per hour and is losing how much warm Gulf water is has to grow stronger.
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