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October 17, 2021

Tropical Storm Mindy forms off Florida panhandle

Tropical Storm Mindy forms off Florida panhandle

Hours after Tropical Storm Mindy formed off the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, it made landfall with 45-mph winds and a potential for up to 6 inches of rain, forecasters said.

The center of the storm made landfall near St. Vincent Island at around 9:15 p.m. ET, the National Hurricane Center said.

By 11 p.m. the storm was moving along the coast of Apalachee Bay, south of Tallahassee, the hurricane center said. It was moving northeast at 20 mph.

Tropical storm warnings were in place for a stretch of the Florida coast from Indian Pass to the Steinhatchee River late Wednesday.

Mindy is the 13th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. It formed in the Gulf of Mexico at around 5 p.m.

Mindy is forecast to cross the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday night and sweep across the state and southern Georgia. The center should be in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, forecasters said.

The storm is expected to bring 2 to 4 inches of rain, but up to 6 inches is possible in spots, the hurricane center said.

Indian Pass, where the tropical storm warnings start, is around 300 miles from Port Fourchon, Louisiana, where Hurricane Ida made landfall as a destructive and deadly Category 4 storm on Aug. 29.

At least 26 people in Louisiana died in the hurricane or in its aftermath, the state Health Department said. Hundreds of thousands of people remained without power Wednesday.

The remnants of Ida then caused record rainfall and devastating flooding in the Northeast. At least 45 people died in New York and New Jersey.

One person each also died in Maryland and Connecticut, and five people died in Pennsylvania, officials said.

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

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