At a press conference Monday afternoon, Cantrell urged residents within the levee protection area to stock up on supplies and shelter in place.
Sustained winds of tropical-storm-force are likely in the zone under a hurricane warning, with the possibility of hurricane-force gusts, over 74 miles per hour.
Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News. The area has already been heavily impacted by this summer's so-called "red tide"- massive algae blooms that have caused waves of dead marine life to wash up along the coast.
Beach Cafe manager Fred Macolino tells the newspaper that business over the holiday weekend had been "horrible".
People all along the Gulf Coast, from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle, were busy preparing for the storm's arrival. In St. Tammany Parish, a line of cars reached between 20 and 25 vehicles long at times.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend about 80 miles from the center.
At the mouth of the Mississippi River, around the area of New Orleans, the storm could generate a surge of up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) and smaller surges could hit coastland along other parts of the Gulf Coast, the Miami-based hurricane center said.
The gates are in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, primarily along the Industrial Canal and susceptible to high-tide conditions if not closed, the city said.
These locations can expect a surge of 3-5 feet as the storm moves ashore late Tuesday into Wednesday.
Police advised beach-goers to stay indoors.
The main weather story across the southeast is Tropical Storm Gordon. The storm was expected to reach coastal Mississippi and Louisiana by late Tuesday and move inland over the lower Mississippi Valley on Wednesday.
A Hurricane Watch is in effect from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Alabama-Florida Border.
NOAA's GOES-East satellite images show Tropical Storm Gordon over South Florida, valid as of 9 a.m. Isolated tornadoes are possible.
More than 4,000 Florida Power & Light customers lost power on Monday as a result of the weather. This zone is expected to witness the most severe storm effects.
Flooding from rainfall may call for evacuations in some areas in Southwest Mississippi, mainly west of Interstate 55, and north of I-10 in Southeast Louisiana.
Weather forecasters have issued storm warnings for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys.
A hurricane warning was in effect Tuesday morning for all of coastal MS and Alabama, with a tropical storm warning reaching to Morgan City, Louisiana, and Florida's Okaloosa-Walton county line. Still, the southeastern part of the state remains under a tropical storm warning and residents need to be prepared for the storm to shift west, Edwards said.
Florence's maximum sustained winds are 70 miles per hour, and the storm is moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour.