Tropical Storm Gordon poured rain on the Gulf Coast region Wednesday after it made landfall west of the Alabama-Mississippi border, killing a child in the Florida Panhandle, the National Hurricane Center said.
The child died when a tree fell on top of a mobile home in Pensacola, as Gordon whipped the region with tropical storm-force winds and heavy downpours, a spokeswoman with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said.
The child’s age and identity were not released. No one else inside the home was injured, spokeswoman Amber Southard said.
The storm’s strong winds knocked out power in the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama, leaving at least 30,000 people in the dark, several utility companies said. It was downgraded to a tropical depression later in the day.
“More power outages could be expected … from downed trees due to strong winds and saturated ground,” CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, Gordon was about 45 miles northwest of Jackson, Mississippi, with sustained winds of 30 mph. The storm is moving toward the northwest across the lower Mississippi Valley, bringing with it rain and potential flooding. It made landfall late Tuesday.
Gordon could drop heavy rain – generally 4 to 8 inches, but as many as 12 – from Florida’s western panhandle to southern Arkansas through Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.
Seawater could spill onshore as high as 3 to 5 feet, spelling significant trouble for roads and towns along the coast.
“If you are less than 3 to 5 feet above sea level (in the warning area), you need to get away from that water, especially up those rivers, because that’s where that water will be going,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.
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.
CNN’s Nick Valencia reported from Dauphin Island, Alabama, and Ed Lavandera reported from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. CNN’s Alanne Orjoux wrote from Atlanta, with Jamiel Lynch, Susannah Cullinane, Joe Sutton, Eric Levenson, Keith Allen, Jason Hanna and Nicole Chavez also contributing to this report.