3, and was expected to make landfall as a hurricane along the central U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday night, Sep.4, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
A hurricane warning was in effect Tuesday morning for all of coastal MS and Alabama, with a tropical storm warning reaching to Morgan City, Louisiana, and Florida's Okaloosa-Walton county line. We got out of it barely alive."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."We've just about got things cleaned up", Collier told WPMI".
Florence was moving toward the west-northwest near 14 miles per hour and maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour with higher gusts.
The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.
Model trends still keep it largely tracking further to the east than in previous tracks and at this time, direct impacts from this storm are not expected here in the Brazos Valley.
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.
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. Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Monday and said 200 National Guard troops will be deployed to southeastern Louisiana.
The storm began as a tropical wave over the Caribbean last week.
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening water inundation. While likely to remain outside of the storm's core, this zone is still expected to see gusty winds and heavy rainfall. This storm could also produce 3-5 feet of storm surge.
Red flags flew over Pensacola-area beaches in Florida's Panhandle, where swimming and wading in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited.
Tropical-storm-force winds could reach the western Florida panhandle Tuesday afternoon and the Alabama-Mississippi coastline by early evening.
The National Weather Service said conditions were "possible" for tornadoes in the affected parts of South Florida on Monday night.
Separately, Tropical Storm Florence continues to hold steady over the eastern Atlantic.
In Mississippi, vessels in the harbors of Biloxi and Gulfport have been ordered to evacuate by 2 p.m. Tuesday due to the risk from storm surge there.
According to Florida Power and Light, as of 8 p.m., 407 people are without power in Miami-Dade, 99 people are without power in Broward and five people are without power in Palm Beach County.