Concern is building over what Hurricane Gordon will bring to the Gulf Coast.
Here is the latest
Officials aren’t taking any chances as Tropical Storm Gordon bears down on the Gulf Coast, with about 1.7 million people under a hurricane warning and another 6.5 million under a tropical storm watch.
The National Hurricane Center says it expects Gordon to strengthen into a hurricane before it reaches the north central Gulf Coast late Tuesday.
“Gordon is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions to portions of the central Gulf Coast where a Storm Surge Warning and Hurricane Warning are in effect,” the center says. “All preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion, as tropical storm conditions are expected to arrive in the warning areas Tuesday afternoon.”
Across the region, governments are making their preparations.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared states of emergency. Edwards has also activated 200 National Guard members for Tuesday morning.
In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a voluntary evacuation notice for areas outside of the New Orleans levee system.
Cantrell said the city expects to see impact of the storm beginning late Tuesday and continuing through Wednesday. City Hall and government offices will close Tuesday for nonessential employees.
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.
These gates are all in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, primarily along the Industrial Canal and susceptible to high-tide conditions if not closed, the city says.
As of Monday night, the FPA did not anticipate that the three pump stations at Lake Pontchartrain would be activated, but it is prepared to do so if the forecast changes and water levels reach key thresholds, according to the press release.