Cindy Dumps, Runs On Gulf Coast

Barry Sheldon of Bay St. Louis, Miss., loads sand bags into his truck Tuesday, July 5, 2005, behind the county Civic Center near Waveland, Miss.
Residents prepared for possible flooding as a weakening Tropical Storm Cindy headed toward the Mississippi Gulf Coast early Wednesday after pelting the Louisiana shores with squalls of heavy rain and wind.

With up to 10 inches of rain possible, authorities cautioned people in low-lying areas to be ready to evacuate if necessary. A pre-emptive state of emergency was declared by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour for coastal and southern counties.

Cindy's sustained winds of 70 mph brought squalling rains and heavy downpours, reports Dave Cohen of CBS radio affiliate WWL-AM. Thousands of people were left with no electricity. Throughout metropolitan New Orleans, trees and power lines were down and debris was scattered.

Emergency officials in Mississippi said they were bracing for a slightly weakened system with winds up to 60 mph Wednesday.

Most people along the coast were taking the storm in stride.

"When the birds leave, then we've got a problem," said Barbara Blanchard, who lives with her husband, Don, in a home raised 8 feet off the ground in Bay St. Louis.

"The birds aren't worried. The pressure must not be dropping," her husband added.

Nevertheless, the couple had placed a supply of sand bags around a patio and workshop beneath their house.

"It looks like it's going to be a busy season, so we're going to get our sandbags now, so we can use them later," said another man.