Tropical Storm Gordon lashes Gulf Coast with heavy winds, rain

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Afternoon and early evening downpours and storms will be possible ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon.

Heavy rain across Florida has tapered, but additional showers and storms are possible today, embedded in the onshore flow.

"If you live in the coastal counties, especially in surge- and flood-prone areas, it is imperative that you get to a safe place by early afternoon and stay there through Wednesday morning".

Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall on Tuesday just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border, lashing the U.S. Gulf Coast with high winds and heavy rain, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

A warning means the expected conditions (winds greater that 74 mph for hurricanes and winds greater than 39 mph for tropical storm-force winds) are likely within the next 36 hours. It's moving to the northwest toward the coast at 14 miles per hour.

"Basically, all the rain thats associated with the tropical storm is being pulled away from us right now", Wynn said.

Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA, said many crude futures traders were "caught long and wrong over the past 24 hours due to tropical storm buying frenzy", adding that "prices pulled back considerably as the magnitude of the storm suggests production losses will be limited".

The National Hurricane Center said Gordon should weaken rapidly after it moves inland from the central Gulf Coast, but that doesn't diminish concerns about flooding. Boaters are evacuating to safe harbors, and motorists are fleeing barrier islands as the Gulf Coast hustles to get ready for the storm.

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A hurricane warning is in effect from MS to the Alabama/Florida border.

The center predicted total rain amounts of 4-8 inches (10-20 centimeters) in the Florida panhandle and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and IL. A storm surge warning has been issued from Shell Beach, Louisiana to Dauphin Island, Alabama.

LINK: You can track the storms at MyFoxHurricane.

Last year, powerful hurricanes walloped Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, causing thousands of deaths, hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damage, massive power outages and devastation to hundreds of thousands of structures.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation was preparing for weather hazards Tuesday by clearing local drainage of debris, coordinating with local officials, checking equipment readiness and availability and filling vehicles and equipment with fuel, the agency said in a statement.

Off to the east coast of Florida, storms are developing.

There are no watches or warnings in effect as Florence is in the open waters.