Severe weather possible from lingering tropical depression; rain likely to continue into weekend

Severe weather possible from lingering tropical depression; rain likely to continue into weekend

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Tropical Storm Cindy was downgraded to a tropical depression, but she is still something will need to watch into the evening and overnight.

A Tornado Watch is active for Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana Parishes as well as Amite, Pike & Wilkinson Counties until 10:00 p.m. Thursday.

A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect until 7 p.m. Rain bands associated with Cindy will continue to move through southeast Louisiana.

Although Cindy has officially weakened and is accelerating to the north, rainbands around 'her' broader circulation pattern have become more active Thursday than they were in prior days. It is quite likely that many WAFB neighborhoods will see more rain between today and the weekend than they saw when Cindy was a tropical storm.

Gov. Edwards held a press conference Thursday at 11:30 a.m. to provide an update on the response to Tropical Storm Cindy, which was downgraded to a tropical depression.

Cindy made landfall early Thursday morning in Cameron Parish in southwest Louisiana. The Tropical Storm Warnings have been discontinued.

Forecaster Jeff Morrow said the WAFB viewing area will still feel the impacts of Cindy as it continues to move inland Thursday along the Louisiana-Texas border. Heavy rain and the threat for tornadoes will continue through the day.

If you do find yourself under one of these rain bands, then you should expect heavy rain. The forecast shows 1" to 3" of additional rainfall will be possible Thursday. That should limit flooding threats to nuisance street flooding.

We continue to see high water levels on the southern reaches of the Amite, Tickfaw, and Tangipahoa rivers due to the persistent south and southeast wind, which is not expected to end until the weekend. Upstream river flooding is not anticipated due to manageable rainfall totals in the watershed.

All inland waterways in Ascension and Livingston Parishes are closed to recreational boating traffic until further notice. Additionally, the Blind River in St. James Parish is closed.

Most of the WAFB viewing area had the advantage of being in the dry slot of circulation around Tropical Storm Cindy on Wednesday and that resulted in a much-appreciated reduction in our forecast rain totals for the event.

Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Wednesday morning for the entire state of Louisiana as a result of Tropical Storm Cindy. He said the declaration was made in response to the flash flooding and severe weather caused by the tropical system.

"We cannot stress the importance of avoiding high water," Edwards noted. "Last year, most of the injuries and some deaths were people in high water."

RELATED: Sandbags available in advance of potential flooding

An emergency declaration must must be made by the governor before the state can apply for any federal assistance.

The NHC upgraded the low to Tropical Storm Cindy on Tuesday.

Cindy is the first tropical system to make landfall in Louisiana since Hurricane Isaac in 2012. That ends a very rare drought of tropical activity for the Bayou State.

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