Gordon slams Gulf Coast with tropical-force winds, rain

Gordon has begun hurling tropical storm-force winds onshore along the Alabama and western Florida Panhandle coastline.

The National Hurricane Center says the core of Tropical Storm Gordon was still about 75 miles (125 kilometers) southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi as of 7 p.m. CDT Tuesday. That’s also about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of Mobile, Alabama.

The Miami-based forecasting center says the storm could become a hurricane before expected landfall sometime Tuesday night along the north-central Gulf Coast.

Forecasters say Gordon, after some strengthening late Tuesday, now packs top sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph). It’s moving to the northwest toward the coast at 14 mph (22 kph).

Hurricane Nate was the last hurricane to strike the U.S., making landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi, last October.