UNDATED: Tropical storm Cindy is seen in this computer generated NOAA satellite illustration made available on July 5, 2005. The storm has prompted at least two oil companies to evacuate workers from offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. (Photo provided by NOAA via Getty Images)

Tropical Storm Cindy has made landfall in southwestern Louisiana, bringing rain and the threat of flash flooding and tornadoes. As of about 4 a.m. CDT Thursday, the storm was centered about 30 miles west-southwest of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and is moving north near 12 mph. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Cindy’s maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 40 mph with continued weakening expected over the next two days. Already, the storm has been 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.

Authorities in Florida are urging people to stay off the beaches and out of the Gulf of Mexico until weather conditions brought by Tropical Storm Cindy improve. Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford tells the News Herald deputies responded to 37 calls regarding swimmers in the Gulf on Tuesday as the storm brought heavy rain to Florida’s Panhandle. The swimmers entered the water even though Panama City Beach was flying double-red flags, warning of dangerous conditions and extremely rough surf. Ford says lifeguards and deputies were fed up as tourists entered the water in spite of the warnings. There’s a law that bans swimming in the Gulf when double-red flags are flying. Ford says he’d rather people use common sense and not get in the water. There were no reports of injuries.

Tropical Storm Cindy has brought heavy winds and rain to southeast Texas but minimal damage as the storm system moves northeast. Street and other flooding was reported in places such as Port Arthur, along Sabine Pass and the border with Louisiana, where Cindy made landfall early Thursday.
Winds in the Galveston County town of San Leon exceeded 50 mph but were slightly weaker along other parts of the Texas coast southeast of Houston. The Houston area was expected to get a couple inches of rain through Thursday. A flash flood watch was issued for parts of East Texas. The Texas Department of Transportation says all state roads and bridges are open in the area.