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Tropical Storm Cindy Comes Ashore      06/22 06:07

   NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Gulf Coast states were in for a third day of rough 
weather as Tropical Storm Cindy sloshed ashore early Thursday in southwestern 
Louisiana.

   Already blamed for one death in Alabama, Cindy was expected to keep churning 
seas and spin off bands of severe weather from eastern Texas to northwestern 
Florida.

   The storm's maximum sustained winds had decreased to near 40 mph (64 kph) 
Thursday morning with additional weakening expected, the U.S. National 
Hurricane Center said.

   A boy on an Alabama beach was struck and killed Wednesday by a log washed 
ashore by the storm. Baldwin County Sheriff's Capt. Stephen Arthur said 
witnesses reported the 10-year-old boy from Missouri was standing outside a 
condominium in Fort Morgan when the log, carried in by a large wave, struck 
him. Arthur said the youth was vacationing with his family from the St. Louis 
area and that relatives and emergency workers tried to revive him. He wasn't 
immediately identified.

   It was the first known fatality from Cindy. Otherwise, the storm was blamed 
for widespread coastal highway flooding, rough seas and scattered reports of 
power outages and building damage caused by high winds. There were numerous 
reports of waterspouts and short-lived tornadoes spawned by the storm.

   National Weather Service forecasters estimated the storm had dumped anywhere 
from 2 to 10 inches (50 to 250 millimeters) of rain on various spots along the 
Gulf Coast from southern Louisiana to the Florida panhandle as of Wednesday. 
And more rain was on the way.

   Alek Krautmann of the National Weather Service in Slidell, Louisiana, said 
Thursday's pattern would likely be much like Wednesday's: Bands of 
intermittent, sometimes heavy rain spinning onto the coast.

   In Gulfport, Mississippi, Kathleen Bertucci said heavy rainfall Wednesday 
sent about 10 inches of water into her business, Top Shop, which sells and 
installs granite countertops.

   "It's pretty disgusting, but I don't have flood insurance because they took 
me out of the flood zone," said Bertucci, whose store is near a bayou. "We're 
just trying to clean everything up and hope it doesn't happen again."

   In nearby Biloxi, a waterspout moved ashore Wednesday morning. Harrison 
County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy said there were no injuries 
but fences, trees and power lines were damaged.

   Storms also downed trees in the Florida Panhandle. Fort Walton Beach 
spokeswoman Jo Soria said fallen trees hit houses and cars in what she called 
"pockets of wind damage" in two or three residential neighborhoods.

   The White House said President Donald Trump was briefed on the storm 
Wednesday by Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert.

   Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, like his 
Alabama counterpart a day earlier. He was among authorities stressing that the 
storm's danger wasn't limited to the coast.

   In Knoxville, Tennessee, the power-generating Tennessee Valley Authority, 
said it was drawing down water levels on nine lakes it controls along the 
Tennessee River and its tributaries in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, 
anticipating heavy runoff from Cindy's rains once the storm moves inland. The 
TVA manages 49 dams to regulate water, provide power and help control 
downstream flooding.

   In Alabama, streets were flooded and beaches were closed on the barrier 
island of Dauphin Island. Some roads were covered with water in the seafood 
village of Bayou La Batre, but Becca Caldemeyer still managed to get to her 
bait shop open at the city dock. If only there were more customers, she said.

   "It's pretty quiet," Caldemeyer said by phone from Rough Water Bait and 
Tackle. "Nobody can cast a shrimp out in this kind of wind."

   Some threats could be lurking in the flood waters, Alabama state officials 
warned: Floating colonies of fire ants could form in the gushing surge of 
water, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System said in a statement. The 
floating colonies of insects known as red imported fire ants may look like 
ribbons, streamers or a large ball of ants floating on the water, entomologists 
said.

   Off the coast of Texas, rough seas also led to the rescue of a shrimp 
trawler in danger of sinking. The U.S. Coast Guard said crew of the trawler 
Footprint was about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southeast of Galveston when the 
crew radioed that the vessel was taking on water faster than onboard pumps 
could clear it. A helicopter crew lowered and extra pump that enabled the 
shrimp boat crew to clear enough water to stay afloat. A Coast Guard cutter 
escorted the vessel to Freeport, Texas.


(KA)

 
 
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