Tropical storm Gordon takes aim at Gulf Coast

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The NWS said in its 8:30 a.m. EDT advisory the storm was centered 20 miles west of Key Largo and 85 miles southeast of Marco Island.

Tropical Storm Gordon has formed near the Florida Keys this morning. A storm surge warning was issued from the Shell Beach, Louisiana area to the Mississippi-Alabama border. "This warning replaces the hurricane Watch and tropical storm warning for this area".

In anticipation of heavy rains, the Flood Protection Authority-East (FPA) has closed 21 floodgates on the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier near New Orleans, according to a press release from the City of New Orleans.

Much further east, we are still keeping very close watch on Tropical Storm Florence.

The storm was forecast to make landfall late on Tuesday near the border between Louisiana and MS while dropping as much as 20 centimetres of rain in some areas of the U.S. South still reeling from hurricanes a year ago.

At this point the forecast has Florence staying out to sea, not impacting the Caribbean or the continental United States.

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Residents in parts of South Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana are being warned to prepare for tropical storm-force winds and possibly isolated tornadoes.

Maximum sustained winds are near 30 miles per hour (45 km/h) with higher gusts.

Gordon's winds of almost 50 miles per hour was on the lower end of a tropical storm's intensity, but still brought bursts of powerful wind late Monday. With the peak of hurricane season upon us, now is the time to get prepared. Rain totals will be lower as one moves northeastward into South Georgia.

Tropical storm warnings have been posted for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys, as well as portions of the northern Gulf Coast. But that is supposed to change when the disturbance, which is moving west-northwest, enters the Gulf of Mexico. There are now no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Tropical Storm Florence is moving quickly west and has strengthened slightly but still poses no threat to land.