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Alabama warns of floating fire ants in floods

23 Juin 2017

Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall Thursday in southwestern Louisiana, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds to the already soaked US Gulf Coast.

Cindy was a tropical storm when it made landfall before dawn just south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said.

It's good news for the Triangle after a week of heavy rain brought as much as 6 inches to Hillsborough and other areas north of Durham, 4 inches to parts of Cary and 2-3 inches to much of the remaining areas.

The storm could produce "life-threatening flash floods along the central Gulf Coast", the National Weather Service said.

The storm's maximum sustained winds are near 40 miles per hour (64 kph) and it's expected to weaken to a tropical depression later in the morning and become a remnant low Thursday night.

The forecast is for 1.5 to 3 inches (40-80 millimeters) across the state with downpours starting after midnight Thursday and continuing until the cold front from the northwest pushes the moisture out early Saturday, she said.

The heaviest additional rain with "Cindy" & its remnants will from Louisiana northeast into parts of the Tennessee & Ohio Valley's.

"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. That should limit flooding threats to nuisance street flooding.

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The Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect from High Island, Texas to Morgan City, Louisiana, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A state of emergency was declared in Alabama and Louisiana Wednesday, and portions of the Gulf Coast are under tornado watches and flash flood watches and warnings associated with Cindy.

The White House said President Donald Trump was briefed on the storm Wednesday by Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert. Buckles said this situation, which is often overlooked, is one of the biggest threats NWS faces each year.

Gov. Edwards held a press conference Thursday at 11:30 a.m.to provide an update on the response to Tropical Storm Cindy, which was downgraded to a tropical depression. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the State Operations Center to upgrade to "increased readiness" starting at noon Wednesday.

Flooding continues to be an issue across the central gulf coast.

The Louisiana National Guard dispatched high water vehicles and helicopters into flood-prone areas.

The storm mostly passed west of New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Alabama warns of floating fire ants in floods