After Tropical Storm Gordon drenched parts of South Florida on Monday, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for parts of the Gulf Coast — where the storm is expected to roar ashore as soon as late Tuesday.
Meteorologists have warned Gordon likely will strengthen into a hurricane by the time it reaches coastal Mississippi and Louisiana.
Voluntary evacuation orders were issued on Monday for parts of Louisiana for residents in areas outside the levee protection system. Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Monday and said 200 National Guard troops will be deployed to southeastern Louisiana.
The National Hurricane Center said at 8 p.m. ET that the storm was centered 95 miles west of Fort Myers, Florida. Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 60 mph. After making landfall, it is expected to charge inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday.
The hurricane warning was placed into effect for the area stretching from the mouth of the Pearl River in Mississippi to the Alabama-Florida border. As much as 8 inches of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states through late Thursday.
The National Hurricane Center reported that the storm could unleash “life-threatening” storm surge to portions of the central Gulf Coast. A storm surge warning has been issued for the area stretching from Shell Beach, Louisiana, to Dauphin Island, Alabama. The warning means there is danger of life-threatening inundation. The region could see rising waters of 3 to 5 feet.
“The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves,” the center said.
Gordon is expected to dissipate by Saturday somewhere in the central U.S.
After periods of heavy rainfall, flood advisories were in effect for parts of South Florida late Monday.
Tropical Storm Gordon is the Atlantic basin’s seventh named storm of the year.
Fox News’ Caleb Parke and The Associated Press contributed to this report.