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Cindy weakens to tropical depression after landfall in Louisiana, Texas

By Andrew V. Pestano and Doug G. Ware
Cindy weakens to tropical depression after landfall in Louisiana, Texas
Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall early Thursday morning between Cameron, La., and Port Arthur, Texas, the National Hurricane Center said. Image courtesy NOAA

June 22 (UPI) -- The storm system Cindy weakened to a tropical depression on Thursday after making landfall on Gulf Coast states, but the National Hurricane Center warns heavy rains will continue.

As of the NHC's latest update at 11 a.m. EDT, Cindy has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and is about 165 miles northwest of Morgan City, La., moving north at a speed of 13 mph. A tropical storm warning from High Island, Texas, to Morgan City has been discontinued.

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The NHC said the storm reached land between Cameron, La., and Port Arthur, Texas, around 3 a.m.

The storm should turn north-northeast later Thursday and then turn northeast Friday. It is expected to move into southeastern Arkansas early Friday and into Tennessee later that day.

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Earlier, the storm turned deadly in Alabama when a 10-year-old boy was killed by a log that was washed onto shore by a large wave, officials said. The boy was standing near a waterfront condominium occupied by his family, visiting from St. Louis.

The NHC said the storm has weakened but can still generate heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash floods in the Gulf Coast states of Alabama, Texas and Florida.

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"Cindy is expected to produce rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches with isolated maximum amounts up to 12 inches over eastern Texas, western and central Louisiana and southern and eastern Arkansas through Friday morning," the NHC said. "Additional rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches over southern Mississippi, southern and central Alabama and extreme western Florida Panhandle are expected through Friday morning."

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Tornadoes are also possible, forecasters said, from the lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valley regions to the central Gulf Coast.

Storm surge could push water 1 foot to 3 feet above ground level in the areas under tropical storm warning, as well as areas east to the western Florida panhandle.

Cindy caused sporadic power outages in nearby communities and property damage throughout the region, as strong winds and rain pelt lands near the coastline.

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Overnight Wednesday, Tropical Storm Bret dissipated in the southern Caribbean.

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