Tropical Storm Cindy

Tropical Storm Cindy is expected to make landfall tonight (or very early in the AM). Tropical Storm Cindy Public Advisory

Maximum sustained winds are 50 MPH with higher gusts. It is expected to make landfall around the Texas/Louisiana state line.

Wind isn’t the biggest danger in a tropical storm – though 50 mph winds can do damage. And of course tornadoes are always an option. Flooding is often the real issue.

RAINFALL: Cindy is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6 to 9 inches with isolated maximum amounts up to 15 inches over southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and western portions of the Florida Panhandle through Thursday night. This rainfall could cause life-threatening flash flooding in these areas.

Rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 7 inches can be expected farther west across western Louisiana and eastern Texas through Thursday night. Rainfall should spread northeastward across Arkansas and into portions of the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys through Friday, with total rain accumulations of 3 to 5 inches with locally higher amounts possible.

3 to 5 inches is a lot of rain. 15 inches is a crazy amount of rain.

When I lived in hurricane country, I used to do a late spring/early summer post on the virtues of being prepared. It isn’t a question of if, it is when the next storm will come. Usually it is best to get out of their way. But it is always a good idea to be prepared for days or weeks without electricity, or access to the internet, or credit card/debit card transactions, or Apple Pay or whatever. No refrigeration. No electric stove. (No gas stove that relies on electricity.) No cellphone service. But every time the forecast called for a storm, the folks around me ran about as though they never considered the possibility of a hurricane.

So are you prepared for a few days or a few weeks without the trappings of modern life? Do you have some canned food, and a non-electric can opener? Some cash for when the ATMs/credit cards don’t work? Look at the aftermath of Sandy in NYC, if you doubt that all of this can happen.