Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Sci-tech | By Eric Barnett

Florida child killed by falling tree as Gordon strikes land

Florida child killed by falling tree as Gordon strikes land

Gordon never reached hurricane strength by the time it came ashore Tuesday night just west of the Mississippi-Alabama line. Gordon had been forecast to become a Category 1 hurricane prior to landfall.

The only death reported as of Wednesday afternoon was the child killed late Tuesday when a large oak tree branch fell onto a mobile home in Pensacola, Florida.

"Fortunately we had some power crews staged in Hattiesburg, Ms, early afternoon yesterday, so the utility companies will be working together to getting peoples power restored back as quickly as possible".

That was particularly worrisome in the Midwest, a region already inundated with water. In parts of Iowa, major cities have taken precautions against rising rivers.

The storm was going out swinging: forecasters said radar spotted possible tornados spun off by the storm overnight in southern Alabama and the Florida panhandle, and more were possible through Wednesday night in MS and western Alabama.

In the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Florence, a Category 3 storm on a five-step scale, barreled toward Bermuda on Wednesday, packing maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (205 kph).

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Governors in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana had all declared states of emergency to better mobilize state resources and National Guard troops for the storm.

Gordon was not the only storm being watched by forecasters.

A total of 159,085 barrels per day (bpd) in crude oil production was shut on Wednesday, an increase of 2,178 barrels from Tuesday, the agency said.

"We are happy to report that hotels, casinos, attractions and restaurants have resumed business as usual", Milton Segarra, CEO of the tourism organization Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, said in a Wednesday news release. Siding was peeled off some houses, but Mayor Jeff Collier said "for the most part, we did OK".

Tropical Storm Gordon may not have been the strongest storm to hit the United States, but it still looked formidable from space. But the warm waters of the Gulf ultimately only did so much to strengthen a storm that also faced dry air, which can suppress the warm updrafts that are characteristic to hurricanes, and wind shear, which can disrupt a storm's structure. The heaviest rain is still lifting across the western half of Alabama and causing flooding, especially south.

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