Only Brief Impacts From Tropical Storm Gordon

Tropical Storm Gordon, the first official tropical system to make a U.S. landfall during the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, came ashore late in the night September 4 near Pascagoula, Miss., shortly after its center passed over Dauphin Island, Ala.

Gordon made landfall with sustained winds of 70 mph., just under hurricane status. Most of the wind and rain associated with Gordon lay on the eastern side of the storm. According to the National Weather Service, the Mobile, Ala., area recorded just over 2 inches of rain September 4. Pensacola, on the other hand, saw two days of record rainfall, with 5 inches and 6.4 inches recorded September 4 and 5, respectively. Winds in both Mobile and Pensacola topped out at around 40 mph. Pascagoula, where Gordon made landfall, saw less rain and wind than Mobile, according to archived data from Weather Underground.

The forecast landfall for Gordon initially was just east of New Orleans, La., and inched eastward throughout the day September 4. Though it was a relatively small storm with only tropical storm-force winds, ports and waterways along much of the Central Gulf Coast and the eastern Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) enacted their waterway action plans. By 1 p.m. September 4, the U.S. Coast Guard had declared port condition ZULU at the ports of Gulfport, Miss., Pascagoula and Mobile.

Within Sector New Orleans, the port condition was set at YANKEE. In New Orleans ahead of Gordon, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East did not close the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier across the GIWW, but reverse head conditions at the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal closed the lock there, effectively closing that stretch of the waterway to navigation until the reverse head subsided.

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By the morning of September 5, the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lock was open to navigation, with port conditions within Sector New Orleans returning to normal around midday September 5. By the afternoon of September 5, the ports of Gulfport, Pascagoula and Mobile had returned to normal, but with draft restrictions. The GIWW through Mississippi east to Pensacola, Fla., remained closed to navigation pending surveys of the channel and aids to navigation.

The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway officially reopened to navigation with no restrictions by 1:30 p.m. September 6.

As of late last week, Gulfport, Pascagoula and Mobile remained open, yet with draft restrictions of 30 feet, 38 feet and 38 feet, respectively.