Storm Gordon weakens after landfall in southern US

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

Gordon never became a hurricane as forecast and weakened into a depression on Wednesday, just hours after making landfall near the Alabama-Mississippi border, helping to keep production and refining operations running unimpeded at most energy facilities in the Gulf and along the Louisiana coast.

All tropical storm warnings were canceled for South Florida and the Florida Keys as Gordon moved away, but not until after it had battered the region with heavy rain and winds.

Governors in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana declared states of emergency to better mobilize state resources and National Guard troops for the storm.

A child has been killed in Florida after a tree was blown on top of his mobile home in an incident which may be linked to Gordon.

Coastal areas from the Florida Panhandle to Louisiana could experience 4-8 inches of rain, with isolated totals of 12 inches through late Thursday that could cause risky flash flooding and "life-threatening" storm surge, according to the hurricane center. In Florida and along the Gulf Coast, authorities also warned of possible tornados. Some areas may even receive 12 inches (30 cm) of rain through Thursday, causing flash flooding, according to the NHC. Property damage was minimal, the NHC said.

The National Hurricane Center said early Wednesday that Gordon was weakening on a path into Arkansas after striking the coast at 70 miles per hour, just short of hurricane strength, near Pascagoula, Mississippi. It prompted states of emergency in Mississippi, Louisiana and parts of Alabama.

Pensacola International Airport has reported more than 10 centimetres of rain, the heaviest total reported so far along the Gulf Coast.

Brandon Drake, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Topeka, said theories differ on how the storm will progress.

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Jeff Collier, mayor of Dauphin Island, Alabama, in the Gulf, said the storm was approaching just as the island was finishing up recovery from Hurricane Nate past year.

"When you get the higher waves, water starts splashing across".

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city has "the pumps and the power" needed to protect residents. "It's part of life on the Gulf Coast, just something we have to deal with".

"This storm has every possibility to track further in our direction", Edwards said during a news conference Monday evening.

He and his cousin, Lance, were relieved that the center of the storm was jogging more to the east. Lance Murphy, who referred to Gordon as a "party storm", said, "We just live through it and hope we can open again tomorrow".

Anadarko also said it plans to begin moving workers back to two offshore sites and will restart production as quickly as possible.

- Florence has now become the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season.

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