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Rains already hitting Gulf coast ahead of tropical storm

Coastal residents are feeling the effects of a severe storm system that’s churning in the Gulf of Mexico.

Police say flooding already is being reported on Dauphin Island south of Mobile, Alabama. The main road leading to the island’s narrow western end is partially covered with water, and the city is moving vehicles and equipment to higher ground.

Red flags are flying on the main public beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a warning for people to stay out of the water. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency Tuesday morning because of the flooding threat.

Bands of heavy rain are coming through as far east as the Florida Panhandle.

Coastal Louisiana and Texas are under a tropical storm warning, and forecasters say the Alabama and Mississippi coasts could get as much as 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain by Thursday night.

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