Tropical Storm Gordon: Child killed as 70mph winds make landfall in US Gulf Coast

As many as 27,000 people have been left without power as the storm smashes into the US gulf coast

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 05 September 2018 20:45 BST
The storm is threatening parts of the US Gulf Coast with storm surges, heavy rains, and high winds
The storm is threatening parts of the US Gulf Coast with storm surges, heavy rains, and high winds (AP)

A least one child has been killed and thousands have been left without power as Tropical Storm Gordon makes its way into the central Gulf Coast.

The storm smashed into an area between Alabama and the Florida panhandle with high-force winds and torrential rains Tuesday night, clocking in with maximum winds of 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre.

While Gordon did not reach wind speeds necessary to be classified as a hurricane as had been predicted, the fast-moving system still brought potentially “life-threatening” conditions for areas between Mississippi and Alabama where the storm is expected to bring rapid storm surges and violent weather.

The child was killed in Pensacola, Florida, where high winds snapped a tree onto a mobile home.

The death was confirmed by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in a Facebook post, which said that authorities had responded to a 9-1-1 call at around 9pm local time. The name and age of the child has not been released, and nobody else was reported injured in that incident.

Anticipating the storm, schools were closed as states of emergency were declared across the central Gulf Coast.

While the biggest threat to the region is heavy rains and flooding, the National Weather Service has warned that there is a small chance the weather system could cause a tornado to form to the east of its forecasted path.

It is unclear if any other individuals may have been killed or injured by the storm aside from the child.

Around 27,000 people were hit with power cuts as Gordon approached the American mainland. Those outages mostly impacted Alabama, but areas on the western edge of the Florida and in parts of Mississippi have also seen their lights go dark.

The US could be hit by another major storm in the near future as well, with Hurricane Florence being named the first major hurricane of the 2018 season as a Category 3 storm.

The National Hurricane Centre says the storm had reached maximum sustained winds of 125 mph as of Wednesday morning, and is around 2,000 miles from the American coastline.

That distance means it is hard to make a prediction at this point whether it will hit the US — but forecasts show there is something of a probability that it will hit the East Cost somewhere between northern Florida and Washington, DC.

If that happens, the storm would likely hit or come dangerously close sometime late next week.

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