Heavy rain, gusty winds and thunderstorms are hitting South Florida as the Gulf Coast braces for looming Tropical Storm Gordon.
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Gordon is forecast to strengthen into a minimal Category 1 hurricane just before landfall, the National Hurricane Center said Monday.
The center of TS #Gordon is roughly 490 mi SE of the far southeast tip of Louisiana (MS River Delta). Gordon is expected to continue to the NW towards the Southeastern LA and the MS Coastline by late Tue. NOW is the time to prepare! Visit: https://t.co/Q27hfcdqeT #lawx #mswx pic.twitter.com/UEPT0K4o6g— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) September 3, 2018
Louisiana is forecast to get rough winds and could see up to 7 inches of rain in some areas, Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference Monday.
The governor issued a statewide emergency declaration.
"Nobody should panic but everybody should take this seriously," he said.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant joined him in doing the same for his state hours later.
Because of the combined threat of coastal flooding and increased storm surge, New Orleans issued a voluntary evacuation order for areas outside of the levee system.
"The City of New Orleans is prepared," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement. "I am urging all of our residents to monitor the weather forecasts, to stay informed, and to have a plan in place."
South Florida could see up to 8 inches of rain.
With Tropical Storm Gordon currently moving across South Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico, it is important for Floridians and our visitors to remain vigilant. Right now, the primary impact of the storm is heavy rainfall across the southern part of the state.— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) September 3, 2018
Wet Labor Day
Meanwhile, a lot of the country is facing heavy rain and flooding this Labor Day -- especially Kansas.
At least 300 people were displaced in Riley County, Kansas, after the area was struck by heavy rain and significant flooding.
Over 700 homes are without power and many bridges and roads are closed.
Fire crews headed down streets in boats to rescue residents and pets.