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Weather forecasters said the storm could strengthen to near-hurricane force by the time it hits the central U.S. Gulf Coast. Up to 8 inches of rain was expected to have covered parts of south Florida by Tuesday, with 1 to 2 inches projected around Tampa Bay, according to Norman, the National Weather Service meteorologist.

Hurricane and storm surge warnings are in effect for George, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone, and counties.

As of 10 p.m., the center of Tropical Storm Gordon was moving northwest at about 14 miles per hour. In addition to Gordon, Tropical Storm Florence is hovering over the eastern Atlantic but is not expected to make landfall. In this zone, the water could rise up 3 to 5 feet above normally dry land at the coast.

Based on the latest computer models released by the National Hurricane Center, Gordon is not set to make landfall near Houston, Texas, nor will the city experience much wind or rain from the event.

Authorities across the Gulf Coast urged people to stay out of the water - warnings that beach lovers like Cameron Armstrong and Matthew Ewbanks ignored on their visit to Gulf Shores on the Alabama Gulf Coast. A storm surge warning was in effect from Shell Beach to the Mississippi-Alabama border. The storm weakened into a depression Wednesday but remained unsafe, dumping rain, spawning possible tornadoes and kicking up heavy surf in its wake.

Escambia county received 10 calls overnight for downed trees in roadways, along with multiple reports of arcing power lines as the storm blew through with peak gusts of 61 miles per hour (98 kph).

Airlines including Delta, Southwest and Frontier warned that delays and flight cancellations were possible at airports near the Gulf Coast because of the storm, and that they may waive fees for itinerary changes.

A storm surge covered barrier islands as the storm blew through, and some inland roadways were flooded by the rain. We'll increase the clouds as the day goes on and also look for a few isolated downpours after 6PM, particularly south of US-82.

Governor John Bel Edwards said "nobody should panic but everyone should take this seriously".

The hurricane center's latest "cone of uncertainty" for Tropical Storm Gordon is a good representation of numerous weather computer models: Most are in good agreement the storm will move off to the northwest. The Gulf regions would face continuous rainfalls in the coming days due to the movement of the hurricane storm through the region.