Tropical Storm Cindy: Drenching rains, flood threat on coast

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tropical Storm Cindy sent drenching rain bands over the north Gulf Coast on today, swamping low-lying coastal roads and pushing a waterspout ashore in one beachfront community as residents from east Texas to the Florida Panhandle warily eyed the storm's slow crawl toward land.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, like his Alabama counterpart a day earlier, declared a state of emergency today as dangerous flash-flooding remained a threat.

Cindy had weakened slightly, with top sustained winds dropping to 50 mph from 60 mph earlier, but heavy rain bands spinning off the storm remained the biggest threat to coastal residents across parts of five states. A tropical storm warning was in effect along the coast from San Luis Pass, Texas, to the mouth of the Mississippi River.

On the Mississippi coast, a waterspout came ashore in Biloxi even as heavy rains slackened early today.

"There's still a long stretch of tropical moisture coming across the Gulf of Mexico," said Alek Krautmann of the National Weather Service in Slidell, La. "We still think there's a heavy rain potential really through Thursday night and early Friday."

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