Tropical Storm Gordon could bring rain, wind to Golden Triangle

The latest forecast from the National Weather Service office in Jackson (courtesy)
Ryan Phillips

Tropical Storm Gordon officially formed near the Florida Keys on Monday and is expected to develop into a Category One hurricane by the time it makes landfall on Gulf Coast sometime Tuesday night. 

While forecasters are saying the Golden Triangle could receive up to an inch of rain and wind gusts of 20-30 mph, the impact for the area is expected to be minimal. 

Thomas Winesett, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Jackson, said on Monday afternoon there is still a chance the storm could strengthen into a hurricane as it passes over the Gulf of Mexico. 

“The Golden Triangle area is far enough north of the track that the impact won’t be as great as compared to Jackson or the coast,” Winesett said. “The current track brings it to make landfall along the central coast Tuesday night then moving northwest up through Arkansas. But it just depends how far the heavy rain threat can extend, so you can probably expect about an inch or less of rain.” 

He then said the Golden Triangle area will likely begin to see rain, storms and wind late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning. 

Clay County EMA Director Torrey Williams said now would be the time for residents to prepare their home kits and make sure disaster plans are in place, even if the threat is not dire. 

“We are watching Gordon closely, but the current track shows it to stay south of us, but anything can change” Williams said. “Better to be prepared than to not and be in need.” 

Oktibbeha County EMA Director Kristen Campanella said the next weather briefing is scheduled for 11 a.m. ahead of Tropical Storm Gordon’s landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

She then said areas that could be impacted are primarily south and along I-20, with the southeastern part of the state the most likely to see tropical force winds. 

“We will continue to monitor this system and provide updates as we receive them,” Campanella said. “September is national preparedness month. This month we want to remind everyone to protect themselves and their families now. Disasters happen, prepare in advance to help yourself and your loved ones and your community.”

Campanella then suggested local sign up for CodeRED, a free emergency notification service provided to all residents within Oktibbeha County that will notify you of emergency information through phone calls, text messages, emails and social media. It comes as no cost to sign up and a link to the service can be found on the county’s website

For those wanting to be prepared for the next storm, Campanella provided a readiness checklist: 

[  ] Learn lifesaving skills such as CPR and basic first aid. 

[  ]Check insurance policies and coverage amounts for different hazards such as flood, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

[  ]Have an emergency kit in your home, office and vehicle to keep you and your family safe for up to 72 hours.

[  ]Save cash for emergencies (in the event of power outages, may not be able to use debit or credit cards).

[  ]Have multiple ways to receive weather alerts such as itTv, battery-powered radio, internet and smartphone apps.

[  ] Sign up for CodeRed.