Tropical Storm Cindy churns toward Gulf Coast

It had top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (97 kph).

Forecasters expected rain totals of 6 to 9 inches (150-220 millimeters), with up to 12 inches (300 millimeters) in some spots in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle.

As Cindy pulls closer to land the tropical moisture feed off the Gulf of Mexico will gradually end. The Department of State Health Services Emergency Medical Task Force, Texas Military Forces Aircraft, and shelter and feeding teams were placed on standby.

The storm is expected to maintain its wind strength Wednesday and then decrease going into Thursday. The heavy rain could produce life-threatening flash flooding across the coast, reports CBS News correspondent David Begnaud. As a result, flash flood watches are in place from southeastern Louisiana through coastal areas of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said several emergency operations teams have been activated or are on standby to prepare for the storm's landfall.

Louisiana was slammed with major flooding last summer from an unnamed storm that heavily damaged the Baton Rouge and Lafayette regions. Bret weakened Tuesday and is now a remnant low pressure system.

Safety tips for potential flooding include driving carefully, checking windshield wipers, avoiding areas where the road isn't visible, reducing speed, leaving sufficient distance between vehicles, and making sure phones are charged. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was moving 125,000 meals and 200,000 liters of water into the state, he said.

Areas of rain and non-severe thundershowers will begin to cover more areas along and south of the I-20 corridor throughout the morning.

This version corrects the location of the Escatawpa Hollow Campground in Alabama.

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Forecasters with the National Weather Service are warning people in central North Carolina to get ready for another 2 to 4 inches of rain this weekend, on top of the 2 to 5 inches much of the area has already gotten over the past week.

City and county governments on Mississippi's coast are handing out sandbags. "We're on vacation here", said Brandon, who was visiting from Dallas with his family. He says he will shut off power to campsites and tie up picnic tables.

Overnight, Tropical Storm Bret dissipated in the southern Caribbean.

Cindy's projected path straddles the Louisiana-Texas border, putting metro New Orleans and surrounding parishes on the wet east side. "We're mobilizing generators right now to try and do our best to make sure everything stays up during the whole storm", said Harris.

In Alabama, streets were flooded and beaches were closed on the barrier island of Dauphin Island.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency because of the threat of torrential rains and other severe weather, including unsafe high tides and rip currents. In a Tropical Storm Warning, the threat is more imminent, and residents should stand by for evacuation orders as well as check in with family and friends. The storm, which is expected to make landfall Thursday in southeast Texas on Thursday, is bringing significant rain and the threat of coastal flooding, as well as tornadoes. Maximum sustained winds were still at 60 miles per hour and it continued moving northwest at 8 miles per hour.

Tropical Storm Cindy is the second tropical storm to come out of the Atlantic since the official start of hurricane season on June 1.

"We are not in the clear yet", he told reporters, adding that the city was under a tornado watch until 7 p.m.

A cold front moved through the area and caused unsettled weather across SC for most of Tuesday. Conditions will likely be favorable enough for this disturbance to become a tropical (or subtropical) storm or depression as the week progresses.

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