NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – As Tropical Storm Cindy bears down on the Gulf Coast, officials here in Arkansas are keeping a close eye on the storm. The state’s emergency officials even held a state-level briefing Wednesday.
With Cindy forecasted to cross into Arkansas in the next 24 hours, officials across our state, are putting emergency teams on standby and monitoring the situation closely.
At the National Weather Service in North Little Rock, Meteorologist Dennis Cavanaugh explained the preparation for the state-level briefing.
"We give them the latest information on what we think the impacts are going to be,” said Cavanaugh. He said some of the heavy rainfall, the damaging winds, and possible isolated tornadoes from thunderstorms that develop from the tropical system are the state’s main concerns.
Cavanaugh said emergency coordinators along with state officials receive the latest forecast information.
“This is mainly going to affect eastern and southern Arkansas, so those are probably going to be the county coordinators who are going to be most interested in this call."
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said it is currently putting together standby teams for Thursday night into Friday morning.
"That's really when those tropical remnants will be impacting Arkansas the most."
The department is asking the public to keep up with changing forecasts and to know their surroundings. They have asked that no one camp in low-lying areas where the heaviest rain may occur. Cavanaugh advised that will be mainly in southern Arkansas
"With this system we are not expecting widespread flash flooding because we expect the rain to be steady, moderate, but steady over 24-48 hours."
Cavanaugh explained this tropical system comes as a bit of a surprise to forecasters and travelers along the Gulf Coast.
"This is earlier than you would normally expect the Gulf to be active with tropical cyclones. That usually peaks when we get to the hottest months of the summer, which is usually August, even into September."
The Red Cross is ready to deploy volunteers and equipment to help where needed as soon as they get the call.