Tropical Storm Gordon track expected to bring winds to Sebastian, Vero Beach

FIRST ALERT Few showers possible for Labor Day all eyes on Tropical Storm Gordon

At the mouth of the Mississippi River, around the area of New Orleans, the storm could generate a surge of up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) and smaller surges could hit coastland along other parts of the Gulf Coast, the Miami-based hurricane center said.

Heading northwest at 17 miles per hour (27 km/h), the National Hurricane Center predicts Gordon could strengthen to a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico before it likely makes landfall in MS early Wednesday.

Gordon lashed south Florida with rain and tropical storm-force winds.

Florence's maximum sustained winds are 70 miles per hour, and the storm is moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour.

The storm could still pump up to a hurricane before making landfall Tuesday night.

Tropical Storm Gordon is centered 50 miles (80 kilometres) off the coast of Fort Myers, Florida on Monday evening, dumping rain on the peninsula and whipping its shores with maximum winds up to 50 miles per hour (80 km/h).

"It's a relatively small storm, so you could go one or two counties away from you and it wouldn't be the same impacts". But authorities issued a voluntary evacuation order for areas outside the city's levee protection system, including the Venetian Isles, Lake Saint Catherine and Irish Bayou areas. About 2 million people are under a hurricane watch or warning. A storm surge warning has been issued for the area stretching from Shell Beach, Louisiana, to Dauphin Island, Alabama.

Red flags flew over Pensacola-area beaches in Florida's Panhandle, where swimming and wading in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited. While likely to remain outside of the storm's core, this zone is still expected to see gusty winds and heavy rainfall.

Conditions should improve along the coast during the day Wednesday, while heavy rain expands inland through western MS, northeast Louisiana, and southeast Arkansas.

"We're asking people to do the same things that we're doing: prepare", Biloxi Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich said in a statement.

The storm left many businesses on Florida's Gulf Coast feeling shortchanged by the holiday weekend.

We got out of it barely alive."Jeff Collier, mayor of Dauphin Island, Alabama, in the Gulf, said the storm was approaching just as the island was finishing up recovery from Hurricane Nate a year ago."We've just about got things cleaned up", Collier told WPMI".

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