WEATHER AUTHORITY : Flood Advisory View Alerts

Gulf Coast communities prepare for flooding from Tropical Storm Cristobal

Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected to continue to strengthen as it tracks towards the Gulf Coast today. This storm is forecast to make landfall across Louisiana late on Sunday. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar has the latest update.

Posted: Jun 7, 2020 4:40 PM
Updated: Jun 7, 2020 4:40 PM

Evacuation orders were issued Saturday in several Louisiana parishes ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Cristobal -- the third named storm of what is expected to be an active hurricane season -- which is expected to make landfall Sunday night.

Cristobal has sustained winds of 50 mph and is expected to continue to strengthen as it tracks north through the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

There was at least one confirmed tornado associated with Cristobal that touched down southeast of downtown Orlando Saturday night, according to a city spokesperson.

At least three homes were significantly impacted by storm activity, the spokesperson told CNN.

Orlando Fire and Police departments are assessing damage and assisting residents in the area, the spokesperson said.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said in a social media post that it is working with Orange County Fire Rescue Department to clear downed power lines where the tornado hit.

For a time, SeaWorld and Universal Studios were under a tornado warning and a funnel cloud was sighted.

Evacuation orders were in place for St. John the Baptist, Plaquemines and Lafourche parishes in Louisiana.

Plaquemines Parish President Kirk Lepine issued a voluntary evacuation order for the low-lying communities of Happy Jack, Grand Bayou, Myrtle Grove, Lake Hermitage, Harlem and Monsecour.

"We have sandbags arranged and all parish pumping stations are operational," Lepine said in a statement. "We have ordered this voluntary evacuation as an additional precautionary measure to urge residents to move to an area of safety before Cristobal makes land fall."

The 8 p.m. ET update Saturday from the National Hurricane Center says Cristobal was moving north at 12 mph. The center of the storm is 235 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana.

The updated track continues the northward movement through Sunday morning with a gradual turn to the northwest in the afternoon.

The center of the storm should cross the southern Louisiana coast by Sunday evening. Cristobal is expected to maintain tropical storm strength through landfall.

Tropical storm warnings continue from the southwest Louisiana coast to just east of Pensacola, Florida

Track Tropical Storm Cristobal here >>>

As for Cristobal's landfall location, several models say it will fall somewhere between Marsh Island and Slidell. But that does not mean other locations will be free from impact.

"The highest winds, greatest storm surge and heaviest rain may occur east of where Cristobal makes landfall, so not only is the Louisiana coast at risk, but also Mississippi, Alabama and well into the Florida Panhandle," said CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen.

In the New Orleans area, voluntary evacuation orders are in place for the towns of Jean Lafitte, Lower Lafitte, Crown Point and Barataria, Jefferson Parish officials announced Saturday morning.

Residents are advised to bring vehicles, boats and campers to higher ground as the storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall, according to Jefferson Parish officials.

Flooding will be the biggest concern for Gulf Coast states east of Texas.

Storm surge warnings are in effect for portions of Louisiana and Mississippi. A storm surge warning, according to the National Hurricane Center, means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation possible within the next 36 hours from rising water moving inland.

Storm surge will be highest between Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and the mouth of the Mississippi River, where up to 3 to 5 feet is forecast.

"Coastal flooding, heavy rain and dangerous beach conditions will be the main impacts locally," the National Weather Service said on its website. "The heaviest rain and greatest coastal flooding threat is expected Saturday night through Sunday."

It's worth noting that if the storm speeds up and does not linger along the coast, flooding risks will decrease a bit.

"There appears to be some limiting factors in advance of the storm to keep it from intensifying into a hurricane, with wind shear and expected dry air that the storm will entrain," Hennen said, explaining why he's skeptical the storm will strengthen significantly.

Another concern is the potential for severe weather.

The National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center has a "slight risk" from Biloxi, Mississippi, to Morgan City, Louisiana, including New Orleans. A "marginal risk" exists for the coastal regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and northwestern Florida.

"Tropical storms like Cristobal can still be prolific tornado producers, especially when making landfall on the Gulf Coast," said CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

"Landfalling tropical systems from the Gulf of Mexico produce more tornadoes than their counterparts making landfall along the Atlantic coast, largely because the right-front quadrant (where most tornadoes are found) is located completely onshore."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295295

Reported Deaths: 6724
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19672230
Hinds18799386
Harrison16710278
Rankin12685264
Jackson12592226
Lee9687160
Madison9457199
Jones7962146
Forrest7208136
Lauderdale6833226
Lowndes6022137
Lamar588080
Lafayette5733113
Washington5218130
Bolivar4609123
Oktibbeha441393
Panola430394
Pearl River4167130
Warren4129114
Pontotoc408869
Marshall403192
Monroe3989126
Union395374
Neshoba3807168
Lincoln3541102
Hancock347374
Leflore3375118
Sunflower318386
Tate302474
Pike300195
Scott293870
Alcorn291861
Itawamba289975
Yazoo289262
Tippah278765
Copiah277857
Coahoma277568
Simpson274878
Prentiss269758
Wayne253841
Marion252678
Leake252471
Covington248879
Grenada247377
Adams234377
George231745
Newton229652
Winston221675
Jasper213445
Tishomingo212365
Attala206569
Chickasaw201151
Holmes182270
Clay179150
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170539
Clarke169371
Calhoun157828
Smith152731
Yalobusha144836
Greene127633
Walthall124140
Noxubee122829
Montgomery122438
Perry121634
Lawrence120321
Carroll118225
Amite111533
Webster110630
Jefferson Davis101731
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93324
Humphreys92827
Kemper90223
Quitman77114
Franklin76119
Choctaw69516
Jefferson62527
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 493769

Reported Deaths: 9931
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson710731374
Mobile36139727
Madison32425455
Tuscaloosa24184410
Montgomery22586500
Shelby21968215
Baldwin19758283
Lee14967153
Morgan13667251
Calhoun13300286
Etowah13184319
Marshall11262209
Houston10104261
Elmore9385185
Limestone9363134
Cullman8897181
St. Clair8827223
Lauderdale8607211
DeKalb8459175
Talladega7523163
Walker6524255
Jackson6495102
Autauga627091
Blount6102127
Colbert6004118
Coffee5249102
Dale4642107
Russell404930
Franklin399177
Covington3960106
Chilton3876100
Escambia377672
Tallapoosa3588142
Clarke343650
Chambers3413110
Dallas3403141
Pike293472
Lawrence283484
Marion281995
Winston246867
Bibb245060
Geneva239970
Marengo236455
Pickens224654
Barbour211651
Hale210568
Fayette200756
Butler196866
Henry182441
Cherokee177038
Monroe166139
Randolph163740
Washington156535
Crenshaw144854
Clay144454
Macon142043
Cleburne137839
Lamar132833
Lowndes131151
Wilcox121825
Bullock116936
Conecuh106724
Perry105627
Sumter98531
Coosa88923
Greene88232
Choctaw55123
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