Families filled sandbags, brought patio furniture and accumulated batteries and bottled water as the Gulf Coast in the southern United States prepared for tropical storm Gordon, which could strengthen and become the second hurricane to affect the region. in less than a year.
Just a few hours before the storm hit land, a few people stayed on the beach, bathing in the sun before the tropical rainbands became more numerous.
Others did their family rituals of preparation before the storm, including the staff at The Whiskey Hotel in Pass Christian, Mississippi, just one block from the coast.
The hotel restaurant planned to remain open on Tuesday night as usual, fortified with sandbags to avoid torrential rains, the manager said.
"All outdoor furniture has to come in, but honestly it's not even a hurricane, so we're not super stressed at the moment," Ashley Peeples said around noon on Tuesday.
Gulfport provided sand and bags to the residents, and Kenny Macdonald was filling them up for him and the older residents.
"This is a bit routine to a certain extent," said Macdonald.
"You do not know what the intensity of the storm will be, you do not want to take it lightly, of course."
A hurricane warning was in effect on all of the Mississippi and Alabama coasts with the possibility of Gordon becoming a Category 1 storm. The National Hurricane Center predicted a "life threatening" storm surge of 0.9 to 1.5 meters at along parts of the central Gulf coast.
The floods were also a risk. Up to 20 centimeters of rain could fall in some parts of the Gulf states until late on Thursday as the tropical climate moves inland to Arkansas.
On Tuesday afternoon, the storm was concentrated 155 kilometers southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi, with maximum sustained winds of 110 km / h. Meteorologists said it was possible for Gordon's winds to reach the 120km / h threshold to become a hurricane before making landfall later on Tuesday.
The last hurricane to attack the United States was Nate last October, reaching Biloxi with winds of 120 km / h.
The governors of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana declared states of emergency, which allowed them to mobilize state resources and National Guard troops to help during and after the storm.
Mississippi closed a dozen casinos on the Gulf Coast as the storm approached. Workers from at least 54 oil and gas production platforms were evacuated.
Gordon became a tropical storm on Monday near the Florida Keys, so residents and businesses rushed to prepare on Tuesday. But for some people, it was just another day at the beach with a bit of a breeze.