(CBS) — Gordon is on track to become the firstto make landfall in the U.S. this season. Warnings are up in Alabama and Mississippi.
The western end of Alabama’s Dauphin Island has proved to be one of the most hazardous places in the country since it’s prone to heavy flooding. Gordon is expected to unleash 75 mph winds and drop four to eight inches of rain, with storm surges reaching five feet.
But that doesn’t seem to worry the locals.
“It’s nature doing its thing, and it’s pretty awesome,” said Donna Saey, who was raised in the area.
“You are born into it, you don’t run from it,” she said. “Anything on the left side is constantly being rebuilt.”
The West End Beach just reopened in May after the parking lot was wiped out by Hurricane Nate. Across the Gulf Coast, others are bracing for the storm, where punishing surf and rain has begun.
In Biloxi, Mississippi, people were busy stocking up on supplies at grocery stores, while the fire department geared up for possible water rescues.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is taking no chances, issuing an emergency declaration ahead of the storm making landfall, and mobilizing 200 national guardsmen.
“These guardsmen will be prepositioned, primarily in southeast Louisiana along with 63 high water vehicles, 39 boats and four helicopters,” he said.
In New Orleans, officials issued a voluntary evacuation order for area’s outside the city’s levee protection system. But Mayor Latoya Cantrell says they are prepared.
“We’ve got the pumps and power we believe we need, again, to be safe and to protect our residents,” Cantrell said.