Canadians are a hardy breed. It's not unusual for them to pack outdoor festivals in the pouring rain, and when the mercury drops to 40 below (which is the same in Fahrenheit and Celsius, by the way), all they need is a giant parka and a block heater in their vehicles to take on Old Man Winter at his most ferocious.
Tropical storms, however, are a different matter, namely because there's absolutely nothing tropical about Canada whatsoever, except for those who leave the country for warmer and sunnier climates. But in this case, Tropical Storm Gordon is turning out to be a fast and aggressive front that will have an effect on Canadian traffic. To that end, weather advisories are declaring that all non-essential travel to the U.S. Gulf Coast from the delta of Louisiana's Pearl River to where Alabama borders Florida must be avoided.
The storm is slated to hit Lousiana, Mississippi, and Alabama on Wednesday. Once it hits landfall, the likelihood that Tropical Storm Gordon will morph into a category one hurricane is great. Weather dispatches have reported that the storm is responsible for excessively strong winds and heavy rainfall hitting a few Gulf Coast states.
After the storm hit Florida on Monday, conditions got so severe that travel advisories were issued that especially affecting Canadian passengers, which form the bulk of international visitors to the state. Meanwhile, other states west of Florida have already prepared for the worst, including the possibility of a hurricane developing from current conditions. In Louisiana, residents in vulnerable areas are being evacuated.
Besides debris from wind, advisories warn that the storm could also cause flash floods and landslides. The conditions are also likely to disrupt such essential services as emergency and medical care, transportation and telecommunications, power grids, and food and water supplies.
So far, Tropical Storm Gordon has caused one fatality when one child was killed in a mobile home after a tree, uprooted by the excessive wind, fell on the dwelling. Winds, according to the National Weather Service, registered at 70 mph. Besides a tornado, some forecasters are reporting that it's already spotted on radar tornado formations in Florida as well as southern Alabama.