While the 2017 hurricane season officially began June 1st, the first day of summer means the annual event is in full swing for the dozens of American states, countries and island nations that reside along the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic seaboard. Enter Tropical Storm Cindy which, though behind Arlene and Bret, boasts the potential to inflict a great deal of damage in the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. According to the Weather Channel, Cindy is currently “maintaining its strength” in the Gulf of Mexico, but promises to “[bring] potentially life-threatening flooding” to the Gulf Coast later this week.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is tracking Cindy’s position, and while radar maps like the one below pinpoint the storm’s location dead-center in the gulf, it appears to be moving northward.
As a result, ABC News reports the Louisiana National Guard has “dispatched high water vehicles and helicopters into flood-prone areas,” while Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state officials were distributing 200,000 liters of water and 125,000 meals throughout threatened areas. Meanwhile, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declared a state of emergency and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to raise the state’s readiness level.
CNN concludes at least 17 million people from the San Luis Pass of Texas to the Alabama-Florida border are under what network meteorologist Michael Guy calls a tropical storm warning. Wednesday along could see as much as 12 inches of rain dropped on parts of the Texas and Louisiana coasts should Cindy push any further northward by then. To date, the Associated Press reports the storm’s maximum sustained winds are hovering at around 60 mph, which experts expect to weaken by Thursday. The real dangers, however, are rainfall and flash flooding along the coastline.