Tropical Storm Cindy churns toward Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Cindy is the third named storm of the hurricane season and the first to hit the continental United States.

The governor's spokesman Richard Carbo said Edwards signed the statewide declaration Wednesday morning.

The storm also will likely bring strong wind over the eastern part of the warning area, storm surge of 1 to 3 feet and some tornadoes.

It was moving northwest at 7 miles per hour and forecast to continue along that track before turning to the north Wednesday night. They urged motorists to use caution if they are driving in the southern end of the county.

Heavy rains and wind could disrupt oil supplies at the massive refining and production centers along the U.S. Gulf Coast, which could drive up prices for consumers.

Southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, a second tropical storm, Bret has been downgraded into a tropical wave. "That means that we have a 50 percent chance of rain, thanks to tropical moisture".

Forecasters say a tropical storm warning has now been extended further westward for a disturbance in the central Gulf and it now covers an area from High Island, Texas, to the mouth of the Pearl River between Louisiana and Mississippi.

Mobile County Public Schools and Baldwin County Public Schools made their announcements via Facebook on Tuesday night.

Cindy's maximum sustained winds were near 60 miles per hour (96 kph) Wednesday morning with slight weakening expected to begin Thursday. He explains the track of the storm is aiming towards the Louisiana-Texas line. Louisiana was slammed with major flooding last summer from an unnamed storm that heavily damaged the Baton Rouge and Lafayette regions.

Rain bands began pushing ashore Tuesday even before the system reached tropical storm strength.

People along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida are bracing for possible impacts of Tropical Storm Cindy.

The storm formed Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service advises that services may be limited for those on the peninsula around high tide from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning. Forecasters warned 6 to 9 inches (15-22 cms) of rain and up to 12 inches (30 cms) in spots was the biggest threat in parts of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle.

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.

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