Cindy expected to drench Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia

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.

Cindy's wind speed remained at maximum sustained winds of 50 miles (85 km) per hour, down from 60 miles (95 km) per hour on Tuesday, and the storm center was located about 135 miles (215 km) south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday in an afternoon update. The system continues to pull moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and is fueling bands of heavy rain and storms throughout the Southeast. Edwards says large parts of Louisiana are still at risk of flash flooding, strong winds and tornadoes. Vehicles navigate past waves and debris washing over State Highway 87 as Tropical Storm Cindy approaches Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in High Island, Texas.

Cindy moved ashore as a tropical storm early Thursday near the Louisiana-Texas line.

And while it may sound like something out of a horror movie, floating fire ants often happen after flooding events. In October 2015, after a 1-in-1,000-year event ravaged SC, several photographers captured what appeared to be mounds of floating fire ants. If only there were more customers, she said.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm.

But Cindy was also bringing rain to an area that needed it. Southeastern Arkansas hadn't seen significant rain in more than a week.

The storm, moving northwest at almost 9 miles (14 km) per hour, was expected to make landfall along the Texas-Louisiana border, near major Exxon Mobil Corp., Motiva Enterprises and Total SA refineries. A tornado watch is in effect until 1 p.m. Thursday. Cindy or its remnants are forecast to move into Arkansas early Friday, then into Tennessee. Louisiana was slammed with major flooding last summer from an unnamed storm that heavily damaged the Baton Rouge and Lafayette regions. TVA provides electricity to more than 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states, along with flood control for the Tennessee River system. "That continues to be the threat", said Ken Graham, of the weather service office near New Orleans.

A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through Thursday evening.

In coastal Louisiana's Terrebonne Parish, Kim Chauvin said the shrimp processing businesses she and her husband run helped put out the word Monday that shrimpers should return to port and unload their catch before flood control structures closed.

Storms also downed trees in the Florida Panhandle.

Shortly after dawn, some of the low-lying clouds were rotating, and gusty winds whipped across the landscape. A Coast Guard cutter escorted the vessel to Freeport, Texas.

The storm was blamed for one death Wednesday: A 10-year-old boy from the St. Louis area was killed on an Alabama beach when he was struck by a log that washed ashore. 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.

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. It was moving northwest at 10 miles per hour. Downgraded to a tropical depression, Cindy weakened as it crossed Louisiana toward Arkansas but a broad circulation around the system swept moist Gulf air over the South, fueling severe weather and pushing up coastal tides. However, our neighbors in MS/AL/FL felt the brunt of the storm with 8-15 inches of rain and numerous reports of tornadoes. This means some improving weather is on the way - expect mostly sunny weather for most of next week with slightly below average temperatures!

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