Tropical Storm Cindy has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is threatening to spread heavy rain across a wide area of the central Gulf coast.

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

However, rain has slackened along Mississippi's Gulf Coast after an overnight drenching, but not before a waterspout came ashore in Biloxi, causing minor damage.

Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy says the waterspout made landfall around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, causing damage to fences, trees and power lines. No one was hurt. One large live oak branch was downed on the grounds of Beauvoir, the historic home that once belonged to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

The Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport has reported more than 7 inches (180 mms) of rain since Tuesday morning.

Mississippi officials reported standing water on hundreds of roads after heavy rains, but Lacy says some flash flooding is receding for now, and no buildings have yet been reported as flooding. Coastal rivers are expected to leap their banks, though, as water runs off.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Cindy's landfall.

The governor's spokesman Richard Carbo said Edwards signed the statewide declaration Wednesday morning.

The storm is moving closer to the Gulf Coast, where it threatens to bring a storm surge of up to 3 feet (0.91 meters).

Wednesday morning, the storm was centered about 165 miles (265 kilometers) south-southwest of Morgan City, Louisiana, and is moving northwest near 8 mph (13 kph).

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

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