Tropical Storm Cindy forms in Gulf of Mexico

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The third named storm of the tropical season has formed, the National Hurricane Center says. Tropical Storm Cindy is poised to bring heavy rain to the northern Gulf Coast over the next several days, though it will likely not strengthen into a hurricane.

The storm is centered about 265 miles south of Morgan City, Louisiana -- or about 355 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas -- with top sustained winds of 45 mph.

The development was hardly a surprise to forecasters.  A tropical storm warning was already in place from Texas to the Louisiana-Mississippi border.

LINK: Track Cindy on

Police say flooding already is being reported on Dauphin Island south of Mobile, Alabama. The main road leading to the island's narrow western end is partially covered with water, and the city is moving vehicles and equipment to higher ground.

Red flags are flying on the main public beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a warning for people to stay out of the water. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency Tuesday morning because of the flooding threat.

Bands of heavy rain are coming through as far east as the Florida Panhandle.

Coastal Louisiana and Texas are under a tropical storm warning, and forecasters say the Alabama and Mississippi coasts could get as much as 15 inches of rain by Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Bret was continuing to skirt the northern coast of South America and was not expected to threaten the United States.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.