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Gordon became a tropical storm after having strengthened rapidly overnight, and late Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning for the mouth of the Pearl River, which divides Louisiana and MS in the central Gulf.

Hurricane warnings stretch from the Florida/Alabama border to the Louisiana/Mississippi border as the storm center is most likely to strike along the Mississippi or Alabama coastline.

A storm surge warning was in effect for the area between Shell Beach, Louisiana, and Dauphin Island, Alabama, with predicted heights of up to 3-5 ft if the peak surge coincides with high tide.

In Sebastian and Vero Beach, Tropical Storm Gordon will likely bring wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour and scattered thunderstorms.

The National Hurricane Center said at 8 p.m. EDT that the storm was centered 95 miles (150 kilometers) west of Fort Myers, Florida.

"The good news is its moving quickly so it doesnt have a ton of time to intensify", Klotzbach said.

Model trends still keep it largely tracking further to the east than in previous tracks and at this time, direct impacts from this storm are not expected here in the Brazos Valley.

The Miami-based center said the storm is also expected to bring "life-threatening" storm surge to portions of the central Gulf Coast.

The main weather story across the southeast is Tropical Storm Gordon. As much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states through late Thursday. The warning means there is danger of life-threatening inundation. About 2 million people are under a hurricane watch or warning.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared states of emergency. In this zone, the water could rise up 3 to 5 feet above normally dry land at the coast. Still, southeastern Louisiana is under a tropical storm warning and Edwards says residents need to be prepared for the storm to shift west.

We have already seen some strengthening of the storm this evening.

"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves", the Hurricane Center said.

On Monday night, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged some residents to evacuate ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon.

A number of schools across Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and MS will not open Tuesday and others announced they would close early ahead of the storm's arrival.

The National Weather Service said conditions were "possible" for tornadoes in the affected parts of South Florida on Monday night.

Gordon could make landfall on the western side of the cone, near New Orleans, the east side, near the Alabama/Mississippi border, or anywhere in between.

South Florida is under a Flood Watch until 11:00 p.m.