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Tropical Storm Gordon is now pounding south Florida with high winds and heavy rainfall.

Tropical Storm Gordon lashed South Florida with heavy rains and high winds on Monday, forcing holiday beachgoers to drier ground.

Tropical Storm Gordon was intensifying Monday afternoon as it pushed offshore from South Florida and took aim at the northern Gulf Coast.

Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall Tuesday near the border of MS and Alabama. Although the strongest winds - again, possibly at least 74 miles per hour as a low-end hurricane - will be at the center, gusty winds will be contained in the outer rain bands.

"While there remains uncertainty on the strength, timing and track of this feature, there will be potential for heavy rainfall and flooding across portions of our region, especially late Tuesday into Wednesday". Beachgoers in the area were warned Wednesday of unsafe rip currents that prompted red-flag warnings, meaning it was illegal to enter the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power due to weather conditions.

Gordon struck the coast at 70 miles per hour, just shy of hurricane strength, near Pascagoula, Mississippi late Tuesday.

The area has already been heavily impacted by this summer's so-called "red tide" - massive algae blooms that have caused waves of dead marine life to wash up along the coast.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the entire MS and Alabama coasts with the possibility Gordon would become a Category 1 storm. A tropical storm warning is in effect for much of Louisiana's southeastern coast.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency warned of storm surges of between 1 and 1.5 metres and told South Mississippi residents to be prepared to evacuate.

The National Hurricane Centre is also tracking Tropical Storm Olivia and Hurricane Norman in the eastern Pacific.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said on Sunday he had activated the state's Crisis Action Team as a precaution.

The Mississippi cities of Gulfport, Biloxi and Long Beach ordered mandatory evacuations of their harbors and marinas, and the U.S. Coast Guard said the ports of New Orleans and of Gulfport and Pascagoula in Mississippi could have to be closed if winds get too strong.

Dominic Carlucci drove back to his home on the barrier island in his Hummer, and found no damage, just a sagging wooden fence.

Alert Day Wednesday: continued tropical storm conditions with widespread rain and a chance for thunderstorms.