The staff at The Hotel Whiskey in Pass Christian, Miss. - only about a block from the Gulf of Mexico - were among those carrying out pre-storm preparation rituals.
The hotel restaurant planned to stay open on Tuesday evening as usual, fortified by sandbags to keep out torrential rains, the manager said.
Ewbanks said: "It nearly pulled us straight underneath".
As far as wind is concerned, those in Gordon's path should expect tropical-storm-force winds, which can range from 39-73 miles per hour, according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
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Gordon's heaviest rainfall is expected from the northern Gulf Coast to parts of Arkansas through Thursday. "Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for additional development, and a tropical depression is expected to form by the end of the week while the system moves west-northwestward across the tropical Atlantic Ocean".
The National Weather Service in North Little Rock said rainfall would likely approach southeast Arkansas on Wednesday.
Also, a storm surge watch was issued for areas near the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, where the storm could produce 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain. This area includes the Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, southern and central MS, southeastern and northeastern Louisiana, and southern Arkansas.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency warned of storm surges between 3 and 5 feet and told South Mississippi residents to be prepared to evacuate. It was moving relatively quickly, at about 15 miles per hour. A stray seagull fought the wind gusts and appeared to be floating in space over the volleyball nets.
Governors in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana all declared states of emergency to better mobilise state resources and National Guard troops for the storm.
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Gordon formed around southern Florida on Monday before it swept across the Gulf of Mexico.
At 4pm United Kingdom time (10am local time) on Tuesday it was 145 miles east-southeast of the Mississippi River and moving northwest at 15mph. Police planned to monitor the only highway to the mainland.
"This is the price you pay to look at this lovely water and enjoy the coast", Pascagoula resident Richard Whitlock said as he raked leaves and branches from his yard overlooking the Gulf.
"This is our first time coming out here to the beach for a storm", said Danielle, who added she had also been through Hurricanes Opal and Ivan but didn't do much outside observing for those storms.
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