By Tyla MacAllister
Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall in Louisiana early Thursday morning but weakened to a depression by afternoon.
The slowly moving tropical system produced torrential rain and spin up tropical tornadoes along its eastern side as it moved inland.
In Central Alabama, a tropical tornado spawned by Cindy caused extensive damage in the Fairfield area near Birmingham Thursday afternoon. The tornado destroyed several businesses including a liquor store. People who were inside the liquor store when the tornado struck said that the building exploded. Four people were transported to a Birmingham hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
— Lauren Walsh (@LaurenWalshTV) June 22, 2017
Based on preliminary damage reports, National Weather Service spokesman Kevin Laws rated the tornado a strong E-F2, with winds of 120 miles per hour. Several other Cindy-spawned tornadoes touched down in rural areas across central Alabama with minimal damage reported.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey released the following statement on the Fairfield Tornado:
“Thankfully today’s tornado in Fairfield did not result in any loss of life; my thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured. We will provide support to local authorities as they serve those effected by the storm and continue to monitor the weather situation across the state. All Alabamians should remain weather-aware over the next several days as we continue to deal with the lingering effects of Tropical Storm Cindy.”
The National Weather Service in Birmingham said the tornado and flooding threat for central Alabama will persist through Friday.
Boy Killed By Storm Surge In Alabama Identified
On Wednesday morning ten-year-old Nolan McCabe from the St. Louis, Missouri area was killed in Fort Morgan Alabama as Tropical Storm Cindy churned through the Gulf of Mexico. The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office said the boy was struck by a log that was washed in by Cindy’s storm surge.
A GoFundMe page set up by the the Mehlville School District parent teacher association to help Nolan’s family with funeral expenses had raised almost $5,000 by Thursday evening.
— WSFA 12 News (@wsfa12news) June 22, 2017
Cindy Spawns Tropical Tornadoes and Waterspouts Across The Gulf Coast Region
Although the storm never reached hurricane status, Cindy produced many waterspouts and spin-up tropical tornadoes across the Gulf Coast region. A tornado struck a Fort Walton Beach, Florida neighborhood around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning causing damage to homes and a ball park.
— Bob Heist (@bobheistNWFDN) June 21, 2017
In Biloxi, Mississippi a waterspout came ashore Wednesday and damaged several homes including the historic Beauvoir Estate, the last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
— Beauvoir (@BeauvoirBiloxi) June 22, 2017
Tropical Depression Cindy will continue to track north and east over the weekend.
Cindy is the third named storm of the 2017 Hurricane Season. Arlene, a rare pre-season tropical storm, formed on April 20 but fizzled over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Tropical Storm Bret formed off the coast of Venezuela on June 19 and dissipated in the Caribbean Sea on June 21.