Florida child killed by falling tree as Gordon strikes land

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Tues., Sept 6, 1:16 am- Tropical Depression Gordon was expected on Thursday to dump more heavy rains that could cause flooding in central USA states as Hurricane Florence, a monster Category 3 storm, churned toward Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The storm made landfall just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 70 miles per hour.

The storm's strong winds knocked out power in the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama, leaving at least 30,000 people in the dark, several utility companies said.

The system is expected to meet a cold front moving across Oklahoma and produce more rain in the two states while pushing the remnants northward into Missouri.

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Although the authorities said the storm caused minimal property damage, they reported the death of a child who was killed when a tree fell on a mobile home in Escambia County, Florida, on Tuesday night. Beachgoers in the area were warned Wednesday of risky rip currents that prompted red-flag warnings, meaning it was illegal to enter the Gulf of Mexico.

"We ducked a punch", said Mayor Andrew Gilich of Biloxi, whose office noted that he is a former boxer. Power was restored for all of those households by noon Wednesday.

A storm surge covered barrier islands as the storm blew through, and some inland roadways were flooded as well.

Rain was still falling but the lights were on at a Waffle House restaurant in Mobile, where factory worker Jerome Richardson said he lost power at 9 p.m.as the storm passed overhead. He was still without electricity as he left for his 12-hour shift. It wasn't almost as bad as when Nate, the last hurricane to strike the US, came ashore last October in nearby Biloxi, Mississippi.

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Governors in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana had all declared states of emergency to better mobilize state resources and National Guard troops for the storm.

New Orleans, which had braced for severe flooding, was unscathed.

Even as Gordon's coastal threat faded Wednesday, the hurricane center was also tracking another storm far out in the Atlantic.

"If you are less than 3 to 5 feet above sea level (in the warning area), you need to get away from that water, especially up those rivers, because that's where that water will be going", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

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