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Tropical Storm Gordon Reaches Land, 1st Fatality Reported

Tropical Storm Gordon is continuing on its northwest trajectory through Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana as it barrels dead ahead into Arkansas. There have been no reports yet of damage to any schools or any school buses being used for evacuations.

Many reports of flooding and roads washed out across Clarke County in Alabama were reported by the National Weather Service at noon on Wednesday. This is a view of road washed out due to flooding.

However, one fatality was reported overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, when the National Hurricane Center said that a child was killed from a tree falling on top of a mobile home in Pensacola, Florida. “A moderate risk of flash flooding from #Gordon is forecast by @NWSWPC across the western Florida panhandle, southwestern Alabama, central Mississippi, and southeastern Arkansas through Thursday morning,” the NHC said Wednesday morning.

The NHC announced that “Gordon continues to weaken over central Mississippi,” as the “threat of heavy rains and flooding will continue for several days.” NHC also added some good news, noting that Gordon “has weakened to a tropical depression and is inland” Wednesday morning.

Local residents continue to worry about flooding and a possible storm surge that is predicted by the National Hurricane Center, as the storm reached land at about 10 p.m. Tuesday night, local time, as “a 70-mph storm. It crossed overland just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border and east of Pascagoula,” according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

“Schools were closing and states of emergency were being declared as the Gulf Coast braced for the heavy rains, high winds and storm surge,” noted USA Today on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

The Hurricane Tracker App said, “The area between New Orleans and Mobile needs to prepare now for the worst. #Gordon may be rapidly intensifying.” Meanwhile, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, and Mississippi’s Governor, Phil Bryant, declared a state of emergency.

Yesterday morning, Tuesday, the Mobile County Public School System Superintendent announced that “all MCPSS schools will be closed on Wednesday based on inclement weather conditions predicted as a result of Hurricane Gordon.”

Along the coast, “Schools and colleges planned to dismiss students early on Tuesday, or close altogether, in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.”

WLOX also reported that “Numerous school districts, particularly along the Mississippi coast, announced closures for Tuesday.” Many other schools indicated that they expect to reassess whether to close for Wednesday or not.

One Louisiana school district superintendent comments

Tangipahoa Parish School Superintendent Melissa Stilley announced Tuesday afternoon that all TPSS schools will be closed on Wednesday, due to Gordon. Her Facebook page stated, “Because of the sheer timing and uncertainty of the storm’s impact overnight across a 60-mile parish, we cannot begin to accurately [assess] the potential for damage at our school sites nor guarantee we won’t find flooding issues before we ask our bus drivers to begin their routes, many of them in the dark,” Stilley said.

She added, “I would rather err on the side of safety than put any of our people at risk unnecessarily.” The Facebook posting explained that Gordon “should move through by early morning, and essential personnel will begin the process of assessing schools for any damage as soon as it is safe to do so. She asks that 12-month employees report to their job sites by 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday if it is safe to do so. ‘We want our employees to be safe. We ask that they do not take unnecessary chances on the road unless they know for sure that it is safe to travel to work,’ Stilley said, adding that any TPSS employees who cannot travel to their job site on Wednesday need only contact their supervisor to let them know about the travel issues.”

A running combined list of school and university closures for this week from WLOX and other sources (WWL4) is below:

List of school closures and reopenings, updated Wednesday morning, 11 a.m. PST

  • ACCEL Day & Evening Academy, Ala. (closed Tuesday no update available as of Wednesday)
  • Athlos Academy, Jefferson Parish, La. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Atonement Lutheran School, La.
  • Baldwin County Public Schools, Ala.
  • Bayside Academy, Ala.
  • Bayside City Schools, Ala.
  • Bay-Waveland School District, Miss.
  • Biloxi Diocese Catholic Schools, Miss. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Biloxi School District, Miss. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Bishop McManus Academy, La.
  • Bogalusa Schools, La. (closed Wednesday)
  • Brother Martin, New Orleans Boys Catholic High School, La.
  • Catholic Schools (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday), Miss.
  • Catholic Schools, La.
  • Catholic Schools in Mobile & Baldwin Counties, Ala.
  • Cedar Lake Christian Academy & Preschool, Miss. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Chickasaw City Schools, Ala.
  • Christ First Christian Academy, La.
  • Clarke County Schools (open Wednesday), Ala.
  • Coast Episcopal School, Miss.
  • Concordia Lutheran School, La.
  • Cottage Hill Christian Academy, Ala.
  • Crescent City Christian School & Early Learning Center, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Crescent City Schools, all (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday), La.
  • Delgado Community College (all locations open Wednesday), La.
  • Dillard University (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday), La.
  • Eastern College of Health Vocations, La.
  • Escambia County School District (open Wednesday), Fla.
  • Escambia County Schools (open Wednesday), Ala.
  • Faith Academy (closed Wednesday), Ala.
  • First Baptist Christian School in Slidell & First Baptist Child Development Center (closed Wednesday), La.
  • Friends of King Schools, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Full Life Christian Academy, Miss.
  • George County School District, Miss.
  • Greene County School District, Miss. (scheduled reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Gulfport School District, Miss. (scheduled to reopen Thursday. morning, Sept. 6)
  • Hancock County School District (closed Wed., scheduled to reopen Thursday morning, Sept. 6), Miss.
  • Harrison County School District, Miss. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Hoffman Early Learning Center, La.
  • Holy Trinity Private School, Miss.
  • Inspire NOLA schools, La. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Isidore Newman School, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Jackson County Civic Action & all Head-Starts (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday), Miss.
  • Jackson County School District, Miss. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Jefferson Parish, all public schools, New Orleans, La.
  • Jefferson Parish Catholic Schools, New Orleans, La.
  • Jefferson RISE Charter School, La.
  • John Curtis Christian School, La.
  • Kingsley House Campuses & Educare New Orleans, La.
  • KIPP Schools in New Orleans, La.
  • Lafourche Parish Public Schools, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Lake Castle Private School, La.
  • Lawrence Crocker College Prep, La.
  • Long Beach School District, Miss. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Louis S. McGehee School & Little Gate, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Loyola University at New Orleans, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • LWCC Kingdom Academy, Ala.
  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Miss. (all campuses & centers scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Mobile Christian School, Ala.
  • Mobile County Public Schools, Ala.
  • Moss Point School District, Miss. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • NET: Central City & NET: Gentilly, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday
  • New Orleans Adventist Academy, La.
  • New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary & Leavell College, La.
  • New Orleans College Prep (Hoffman Early Learning Center, L.D. Crocker), La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • New Orleans Job Corps Center, La.
  • New Orleans Military & Maritime Academy, La.
  • Noble Minds Institute, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • NOCCA, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • NOCP Schools, La.
  • Northshore Technical Community College, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Nunez Community College, La.
  • Ocean Springs School District, Miss. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Orleans Parish Catholic Schools, La.
  • Orleans Parish Public schools, La.
  • Our Lady Academy Private School, Miss.
  • Pascagoula-Gautier School District, Miss. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Pass Christian School District, Miss. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Pearl River Community College (all PRCC locations), Miss. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Pearl River County School District (elementary school & Endeavor School), Miss. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Pensacola Beach Public Schools, Fla. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Picayune School District, Miss. (scheduled to reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Plaquemines Parish School Board offices & schools, La.
  • Poplarville School District, Miss. (scheduled tol reopen Thursday, Sept. 6)
  • Prichard Preparatory School, Ala. (closed through Sunday, Sept. 9)
  • Rosary Child Development Center, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Saraland City Schools, Ala.
  • Satsuma City School System, Ala.
  • Shelton Academy of Mobile, Ala.
  • St. Andrew the Apostle School in Algiers, La.
  • St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, La.
  • St. Bernard Parish Catholic Schools, La.
  • St. Bernard Parish Public Schools, La.
  • St. Charles Parish Catholic Schools, La.
  • St. Charles Parish Public Schools, La.
  • St. George’s Episcopal School, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • St. James Parish Public Schools, La.
  • St. James Parish Catholic Schools, La.
  • St. John the Baptist Parish, La.
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal School, Ala.
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Ala.
  • St. Stanislaus Private School, Miss.
  • St. Tammany Parish Catholic Schools, La.
  • St. Tammany Parish Public Schools, La.
  • Stone County School District, La.
  • Tangipahoa Parish Schools, La.
  • Terrytown Academy, La.
  • Total Community Action, Head Start Centers & Services, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Townhouse pre-school in Mandeville, La.
  • Trinity Episcopal School, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Walter L. Cohen College Prep, La. (closed Tuesday, no update posted on Wednesday)
  • Washington Parish Public Schools, La.
  • Washington County Schools, Ala.

Additional warnings issued

FEMA announced that, “If you are in #Gordon’s path, finish your preparations now and keep a close eye on updates as impacts are expected today.”

In addition, President Trump twitted, “Everyone in the path of #Gordon please heed the advice of State and local officials and follow @NHC_Atlantic for updates. The Federal Government stands ready to assist. Be safe!”

On Tuesday, yesterday, the NHC noted at 1:00 p.m. CDT, “This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.”

In New Orleans, the mayor declared a state of emergency for the city, and ordered city hall and city government offices to be closed yesterday, and only for emergency staff to be at their posts yesterday and today.

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