Calm before the storm Tuesday; Gordon moves in Wednesday — ALERT DAY


Florence's maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 miles per hour, with higher gusts. Those outages are mostly in coastal Alabama and include the western tip of the Florida Panhandle around Pensacola, with a few hundred in southeastern Mississippi.

Four to eight inches of rain is expected over over the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central MS, southeastern and northeastern Louisiana, and southern Arkansas, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches through late Thursday.

"I just don't want to be caught somewhere where I have to leave and I can't because I don't have any gas", Cynthia James told CNN affiliate WALA.

Mike Seidel is is reporting live from Dauphin Island, Alabama, where the wind was picking up Tuesday evening. Many businesses and homeowners did not board up their windows. "Now is the time to get your plans all set", Hurricane Director Ken Graham said. Still, the Mobile region likely will see flooding in low-lying areas and winds up to 60 miles per hour. "Just because you made it through Hurricane Nate a year ago doesn't mean that this one will be the same".

Nevertheless, she said she and her husband will remain in their home, which sits on tall pilings, 24 feet above ground.

Gulfport was among communities providing sand and bags to residents, and Kenny Macdonald filled them for himself and older residents.

Rivera said he is anxious about Gordon.

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"We don't want to go through what we went through before", O'Neal says.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared states of emergency.

Pat Landry, who owns the Landry House bed & breakfast on Louisiana's Grand Isle, said late Monday night that he was trying to pick up everything low in the yard in preparation for the storm surge expected with Gordon's arrival. City Hall and government offices closed Tuesday for nonessential employees. The rainy, cloudy conditions will keep temperatures in the high 80s for the rest of the week, he said.

By early Tuesday morning, the storm was centred 365 kilometers east-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with top sustained winds of 100 kph, forecasters said. But Mayor Latoya Cantrell says they are prepared. "There's no reason to be alarmed". No flooding just yet and not expecting strong winds. While that storm has already caused evacuations and oil prices to surge, forecasters are keeping an eye on what could come next.

Tropical Storm and Hurricane warnings have been issued along the northern Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to make landfall Tuesday night.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency warned in a Tuesday update that tornadoes will be possible Tuesday afternoon through the evening.