MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall Thursday in southwestern Louisiana, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds to the already soaked US Gulf Coast.
The center of the storm hit just south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, the National Weather Center’s Hurricane Center said.
But the heaviest downpours are expected in East Texas, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
As the storm moves northwest, the Gulf Coast will continue seeing heavy rains, winds of 40-50 mph and increased moisture, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.
Later on Thursday, Cindy should weaken to a tropical depression and become a remnant low, the National Hurricane Center said on its latest advisory.
The storm put millions under high alert of “life-threatening flash flooding” since Tuesday and already has claimed at least one life.
A 10-year-old boy died Wednesday in Fort Morgan, Alabama, when he was struck by a log that was being carried by a wave, the Baldwin County sheriff’s office said.
Parts of southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and western portions of the Florida Panhandle were under tornado warnings and some saw streets covered in up to 3 feet of water.
Cindy is the second tropical storm to form in the Atlantic Ocean since the hurricane season officially began June 1 and the third storm of the year. The season got an early start with Tropical Storm Arlene in April.
“The storm is expected to move up into Louisiana Thursday where it will be absorbed by an approaching cold front moving in from the Plains,” Guy said.
Over the coming days, the cold front will push the remnants of the storm east and will help dump more rain over the Tennessee and Mississippi Valley.