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    In this aerial photo, the Mississippi River flows out of its banks Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, near West Alton, Mo. A rare winter flood threatened nearly two dozen federal levees in Missouri and Illinois on Wednesday as rivers rose, prompting evacuations in several places.

    Tropical Storm Cindy Already Deadly Ahead of Landfall on US Gulf Coast (PHOTOS)

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    An Alabama boy has been killed by a log brought ashore by Tropical Storm Cindy, which is climbing the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall later this week. The 10-year-old boy was struck in the head by the log, which was being carried by a large wave.

    Cindy is expected to bring a deluge of wind and rain onto the Gulf Coast and the American south. Tornadoes are also expected to form. Seventeen million people have been placed under tropical storm warnings.

    Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency and has deployed the National Guard, armed with amphibious vehicles and helicopters, into flood-prone areas. "All arms of the state's emergency preparedness and response apparatus are taking Tropical Storm Cindy seriously, and we are calling on all Louisianans throughout the state to do so as well," Edwards said in a statement.

    ​Alabama Governor Kay Ivey echoed her colleague, while Texas Governor Greg Abbott has activated the state's emergency services. "We stand ready to assist local communities in the event of an emergency, and I ask all Texans to keep those in the storm's path, and our brave first responders, in their prayers as they prepare for this storm," he said in a statement.

    ​The storm is expected to come inland on Thursday morning in either Texas or Louisiana before migrating eastward. While the torrents will be centered along the Gulf states, heavy rains are expected as far north as Maryland and Delaware, and even southern Pennsylvania. Flash flooding is expected in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, which could see as much as 12 inches of rain.

    ​"It's pretty disgusting, but I don't have flood insurance because they took me out of the flood zone," Kathleen Bertucci, a resident of Gulfport, Mississippi, whose shop was flooded with ten inches of water, told ABC News. "We're just trying to clean everything up and hope it doesn't happen again."

    ​Cindy has been energized by a cold front that it's trailing behind, which will cause heavy rainfall. Numerous cities have issued tropical storm warning, including Houston and Lafayette, Louisiana. Tornado watches meanwhile have been issued in New Orleans, Mobile, and Pensacola.

    ​Swollen rivers and heavy winds have already been spotted, as well as some road flooding. A minor tornado caused damage in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Sea levels surged up as much as six feet in Louisiana.


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