Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast just west of the Alabama border on Tuesday night, sparing New Orleans the brunt of its 70-mph winds and flooding rain, and rapidly weakened to a tropical depression over land Wednesday morning.
Gordon came ashore with 70-mph winds — just 4 mph short of being classified a Category 1 hurricane –around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4 just east of Pascagoula, Miss., according to the National Hurricane Center. By 7 a.m., the storm was outside of Jackson, Miss., and was downgraded to a tropical depression with winds of about 35 mph.
Gordon’s rainfall could pose a significant flooding threat as it continues to move inland, the National Hurricane Center said in its final update on the storm at 10 a.m.
“Even though Gordon is weakening, heavy rainfall will continue to affect the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, central Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, southern Iowa and Illinois, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches possible,” the forecasters wrote. “This rainfall will cause flash flooding across portions of these areas.”
Only a fraction of an inch of rain was recorded in New Orleans by midnight, according to National Weather Service data.
All city offices were scheduled to reopen by noon.
“This past week proved that our City is prepared for potentially dangerous weather events. It takes a team of committed, focused and dedicated people to be ready for these moments, and the fact that we avoided danger does not lessen the impact of this work. We are grateful for everyone, including our residents, for their patience, vigilance and understanding,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell in a news release. “We need to remind our residents that we are still in the middle of hurricane season and we need to continue to stay prepared and have a plan.”