Tropical storm warning expanded along Gulf Coast

"Rainfall of 6-12 inches is likely over part of the central Gulf Coast states with locally higher amounts of 15-20 inches possible, due to the slow-moving nature of the storm", Kottlowski said. Already some flooding from outlying rain bands was reported on Alabama's Dauphin Island and flood control locks and gates were being closed along Louisiana's bayou-marbled coast as Cindy hovered almost stationary - still well offshore. 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.

Red flags are flying on the main public beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a warning for people to stay out of the water. The system is expected to resume a motion toward the northwest at around 10 miles per hour.

Neither are a direct threat to South Florida, but the fact the normally quiet June could see two tropical storms is highly unusual for the Atlantic hurricane season, forecasters say.

Storm surges are expected of 1 to 3 feet above ground level and possible tornadoes from south-central Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle.

Several areas in Texas are already under tropical storm warnings and watches.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

The watch area includes Beaumont, Nederland, Port Arthur and Sabine Pass.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles mainly to the north and east of the center.

The storm, now designated as "Potential Tropical Cyclone Three", could also cause tornados later on Tuesday from south-central Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle.

Heavy rains and rough surf will hit the three nearby countries in the coming days before the storm system fades away.

Meanwhile, the cruise industry is also tracking Tropical Storm Bret, now in the southern Caribbean.

Right now, it appears that no other cruise ships will be affected by Tropical Storm Cindy. The National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to move inshore early Thursday near the Louisiana-Texas line before weakening and moving northeastward in a sweeping arc.

It now has maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kilometers per hour), the Miami-based forecaster said.

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