New Orleans Tropical Storm Cindy began moving ashore Tuesday night, pelting the Louisiana coast with sideways rain and intermittent squalls.
St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Capt. Mike Sanders said the low-lying coastal parish had seen much worse, but residents were still keeping a watchful eye on the storm - as well as Tropical Storm Dennis, which was brewing in the Caribbean but would likely arrive in the Gulf of Mexico by the weekend.
"Our main concern with Cindy is that she'll come along the coastline, like it here, and stay awhile," Sanders said.
Oil companies had evacuated their Gulf of Mexico rigs while tourists and residents on the vulnerable Louisiana and Mississippi coasts were advised to head inland earlier Tuesday. Forecasters said the storm could bring up to 10 inches of rain.
Energy New Orleans CEO Dan Packer said around 7,400 customers were without power and crews were waiting for winds to die down before heading out.
Numerous flights in and out of the New Orleans airport were canceled and Amtrak suspended passenger rail service to and from the city until this afternoon.
At the Cajun Tide Beach Resort on the tiny Louisiana barrier island town of Grand Isle, owners Shirley Riche and David Ducote said they were beginning to see the wind pick up and mix with a little rain as Cindy began lashing the island, but it was all bearable.
Tropical Storms Cindy and Dennis are the third and fourth named storms of the Atlantic hurricane season.