Several states in the South and Southeast are preparing for Tropical Depression Cindy for the remainder of the week, as the weakened storm makes its way through the region. Although the storm was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression on the morning of Thursday, June 22, residents and travelers should beware of major flooding in the area.
Still a tropical storm at the time, Cindy made landfall at the Texas-Louisiana border at around 3 a.m. local time on Thursday morning with sustained winds of 40 mph. As of 10 a.m. CDT, winds have receded to 35 mph. Two tornadoes in Mississippi and one in Alabama were reported on Wednesday, June 21, according to the National Weather Service.
Despite weakening conditions, flooding can still wreak havoc on the region. NWS reported at 10 a.m. CDT on Thursday that Tropical Depression Cindy “will continue to produce heavy rainfall over portions of the northern Gulf Coast and the southeastern and eastern United States, along with the potential for life-threatening flash flooding in some locations.”
Cindy is expected to move northward to Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee by Friday morning and continue northeast toward Kentucky. NWS is predicting rain accumulations of 3-6 inches in eastern Texas, Louisiana, southern/eastern Arkansas, southern Mississippi and southern/central Alabama through Friday morning. Isolated maximum rainfall can reach in excess of 15 inches.
Although Cindy is the first named storm to hit Louisiana since Hurricane Isaac in 2012, an unnamed storm system hit Louisiana last year, costing anywhere from $10 billion to $15 billion in flooding damage. NWS said the odds of such heavy rainfall in a three-day span is less than 0.1 percent, making the 2016 Louisiana flood a 1-in-1,000-year event.
As of Thursday morning, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi have declared a State of Emergency. Appropriate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration waivers and exemptions have been enacted in those states.
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