Long stretch of Gulf Coast eyes Tropical Storm Cindy

The storm could be near the Louisiana coast sometime late Wednesday, but forecaster have warned that the system's main danger is heavy rains, especially north and northeast of the center.

"Heavy rains are already pushing into the Southeast as far afield from Cindy as the Carolinas, and these may intensify in what's known as a 'predecessor rain event, '" Henson said on Tuesday.

The storm formed Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.

Tropical storm-force winds are expected to reach the warning area by late Tuesday. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), the largest privately owned crude storage terminal in the United States, suspended vessel offloading operations ahead of the storm, but said it expected no interruptions to deliveries from its hub in Clovelly, Louisiana.

Water-covered streets and interstates were reported in parts of the Atlanta metro area Tuesday afternoon. Louisiana was slammed with major flooding last summer from an unnamed storm that heavily damaged the Baton Rouge and Lafayette regions.

From East Texas to southern Mississippi, Cindy is expected to drop 3-6 inches of rain and some isolated areas could see up to 12 inches of rain, the National Weather Service said.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for metro New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and the entire coast from San Luis Pass, Texas, to the Alabama-Florida state line.

The public is urged to keep an umbrella in hand, and an eye on driving conditions, as Tropical Storm Cindy rolls into the state in the coming days.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu warned resident Tuesday, "There is no system that can take more than so much rainfall in a short period of time". They also said residents should stock up on nonperishable food, water and flashlights in case the storm causes prolonged power outages.

"We call them, we text them, we Facebook them, we Twitter, them".

"We've had so much rain, we haven't done any business in about eight weeks because of the rain", said Godfrey, whose campground typically hosts swimmers and boaters. Inundation of 1 to 3 feet above ground level is possible along the coast in the tropical storm warning area.

  • Zachary Reyes