42ºF

Tropical Storm Cindy continues to be 'moisture pump' for Central Florida

Orlando could see lower rain chances by Friday

ORLANDO, Fla. – There's a 50-50 chance of rain Wednesday in Central Florida as a tropical storm churns in the Gulf.

"We're watching the Gulf of Mexico as Tropical Storm Cindy continues to be a moisture pump across our area," News 6 meteorologist Danny Treanor said. "That means that we have a 50 percent chance of rain, thanks to tropical moisture."

Meanwhile, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Wednesday morning.

The storm is moving closer to the Gulf Coast, where it threatens to bring a storm surge of up to 3 feet.

The storm was centered about 165 miles south-southwest of Morgan City, Louisiana, and is moving northwest near 8 mph.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Cindy is expected to approach the coast of southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas late Wednesday or Wednesday night and move inland Thursday.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has also issued a state of emergency because of the threat of torrential dangerous high tides and rip currents. Other state and local officials along the coast were mulling similar declarations.

Heavy rains are causing flooding in low-lying areas along the Alabama coast.

Some roads are covered with water in the seafood village of Bayou La Batre, and police said streets are flooded on the barrier island of Dauphin Island. Officials there have closed the beaches because of dangerously rough surf.

Double red flags are flying in Gulf Shores to warn people to stay out of the waves. But live video feeds Wednesday showed a few people still on the beach despite rain showers and high winds.

Becca Caldemeyer said business is slow at her bait shop in Bayou La Batre because it's too windy to fish. She said sea water is washing into marshes, but she can still get to and from work since the roads aren't completely covered with water.

Cindy could affect the Florida Panhandle, mostly in the form of heavy rain and potential flooding. 

"Strangely enough, as Cindy moves into land over Louisiana, it will pull away some moisture and drop our rain chances, especially on Friday," Treanor said.

Mixed skies will allow temperatures to move into the 90s in the inland areas on Wednesday, and highs will be in the 80s along the coast.

Rain chances drop to 30 percent Wednesday night.

"Pushing toward the weekend, we will see rain chances diminish, but by the beginning of next week, rain chances go back up," he said.

[WEATHER: Extended forecast | Radar | Warnings | Pinpoint Weather Zones]
[DOWNLOAD: Pinpoint, Hurricane apps | SHARE: Weather pictures]

Watch News 6 for more on this story.