Tropical Storm Cindy makes landfall

Streets and yards in the town were covered and Kerner anxious that homes, even those in parts of town protected by levees, might be flooded. "It's getting to a unsafe level", Kerner said. A line of severe weather from Tropical Storm Cindy battered this northwest Florida community. It weakened to a tropical depression and was moving north toward Arkansas. These scattered showers and storms will continue off and on through the overnight hours Thursday.

"It doesn't look like it will drop anything like it is down in the Gulf Coast", Carroll said.

Water wasn't the only problem. Residents in nearby counties were offered sandbags. He was among authorities stressing that the storm's danger wasn't limited to the coast. Elsewhere in the Heart of Dixie, Mobile saw coastal flooding that closed several highways.

A liquor store and a fast-food restaurant were among the damaged businesses in Fairfield, Alabama, west of Birmingham, said meteorologist Jason Holmes of the National Weather Service.

That moisture will head into the Ohio Valley by daybreak Friday and bring a chance for storms as you head out the door.

The severe weather was arriving on the anniversary of torrential rains and flooding that left 23 people dead in West Virginia previous year.

Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall early Thursday morning with max winds of 40 miles per hour.

The storm is expected to enter the southern Ark-La-Tex and move to near Shreveport by 7 p.m.

A turn toward the northeast is expected. Then into the central Appalachians Friday and Saturday.

The National Weather Service estimates that anywhere from 2 to 10 inches of rain has fallen along Gulf Coast, and flooding has been reported Thursday throughout the Gulf Coast, including in New Orleans, Cameron, LA, Ocean Springs, MS, and Spanish Fort, AL.

20 parishes had declared a state of emergency as of Tuesday and it's expected more will follow.

There were no tornadoes reported on Thursday by the National Weather Service, which said there were two in MS and one in Alabama on Wednesday.

"There's been a lot of rain in the area over the last three to four weeks so the ground is pretty saturated", said Glen Brannan of Alabama's Mobile County Emergency Management Agency.

They say swimmers ignored double red flag warnings for unsafe conditions and high surf.

Perhaps most terrifyingly, Alabama officials have warned residents to watch out for floating colonies of fire ants, which can clump together into angry masses during floods.

Buckles said, if heavy rain occurs, the best option is to stay home.

There were no reports of injuries.

"We stand ready to assist local communities in the event of an emergency, and I ask all Texans to keep those in the storm's path, and our courageous first responders, in their prayers as they prepare for this storm", Abbott said in a statement. Wherever these highest rain totals fall, flooded roads and creeks are a distinct possibility. Some of the low-lying clouds were rotating, and gusty winds whipped across the landscape. "This storm is going to affect the entire state", he said.

Crews in Memphis, Tennessee, worked Thursday to clear storm drains to help prevent street flooding.

"This rainfall could cause life-threatening flash flooding in these areas", the NHC warned.

A flash flood watch was issued through Friday afternoon for the southern and eastern half of the state.

The Texas Department of Transportation says all state roads and bridges are open in the area.

Cindy made landfall as a tropical storm, and was downgraded on Thursday. Nolan McCabe, 10, of St. Louis, Missouri, was vacationing with his family on the Alabama coast when he was hit by a log washed in by a large wave.

Floating colonies of fire ants could form in flood waters as Tropical Storm Cindy trudges inland.

They say the floating shapes contain all members of the colony, including worker ants, winged reproductive males and females, and queen ants. That threat is not gone with the rain and storms.

"This [storm] is only a depression now, so for peak winds we'll maybe see some 30 miles per hour wind gusts east of the center", Rickard said. Severe weather isn't likely as a result of Cindy, Palmer said.

  • Larry Hoffman