Winds up to 70 miles per hour, South MS still in the path

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Meanwhile, Florence has been upgraded to hurricane status, packing 75-mph winds as it moves west-northwest at 12 miles per hour.

Gordon is hitting the Gulf Coast, striking the MS and Alabama border directly at close to hurricane strength.

Tampa Bay was pelted with bands of rain and occasionally gusty winds from Tropical Storm Gordon on Monday, but Gulf Coast states could be in for worse. Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall late Tuesday night around 10:00 P.M. near the Mississippi-Alabama state line, just east of Pascagoula. Its maximum sustained winds top out at 65 miles per hour. Beachgoers in the area were warned Wednesday of risky rip currents that prompted red-flag warnings, meaning it was illegal to enter the Gulf of Mexico. More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power Monday due to weather conditions. Flash flood watches stretched from the Florida panhandle, through parts of southwest Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and IL.

Gordon strengthened rapidly overnight, and it was expected to hit the central Gulf of Mexico sometime late Tuesday.

The storm is forecast to unleash multiple hazards along the coast, including torrential rain, strong winds, and a storm surge of up to several feet, which is a rise in ocean water above normally dry coastal land.

West of the mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas are also under a tropical storm warning. The warning means there is danger of life-threatening inundation. Waves of 3 to 5 feet are expected, locally as high as 6 feet in some areas, and inland waterways will be choppy.

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The system is expected to become a tropical storm by Monday evening, at which point it will be named Gordon.

Later this week, the remnants of Gordon are forecast to merge with a cold front in the Midwest and bring more rain and flooding to Arkansas and Missouri.

Dominic Carlucci drove back to his home on the barrier island in his Hummer, and found no damage, just a sagging wooden fence.

Separately, Tropical Storm Florence continues to hold steady over the eastern Atlantic.

A storm surge covered barrier islands as the storm blew through, and some inland roadways were flooded by the rain. Though officials decided against ordering a mass evacuation from central Houston, voluntary and mandatory evacuations were issued on Saturday for parts to the south west, near two rivers in Fort Bend County.