Warning of life-threatening rip currents and dangerous surf, Gulf Shores officials are telling people to stay of the water.
Double-red flags are up in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Destin, Panama City and along the Florida Panhandle, signifying the water is off limits.
Gulf of Mexico waters within the corporate limits of Gulf Shores are closed to the public until further notice, city officials said. Swimming, wading, floating or other entry into the water is prohibited and violators can face fines or even jail.
“Rip currents are life-threatening to anyone entering the Gulf and emergency management officials urge the public to heed their warnings and to stay out of the water,” city officials said.
The National Weather Service Center in Mobile said as much as 8 inches of rain expected until Thursday. The rain is expected to bring minor coastal flooding through Thursday with dangerous rip currents through the end of the week. The potential for high seas and gale force winds exists through Thursday.
Tropical Storm Cindy remains hundreds of miles off shore Tuesday evening and is expected to continue a path northward with the center of the storm coming ashore in southeast Texas by Thursday. Cindy has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph; it is not expected to strengthen into a hurricane.
The main threat from the storm will come from high winds and heavy rains along the Gulf Coast and inland.
Tropical storm warnings are now in effect from San Luis Pass in Texas to the mouth of the Pearl River.