By Bernie Woodall
June 22 (Reuters) - A tropical depression formerly known as Tropical Storm Cindy caused flooding on Thursday in several U.S. southeastern states, spawned a tornado that injured four people in Alabama, and cut 16 percent of Gulf of Mexico oil production.
Cindy was a tropical storm when it made landfall near the Louisiana-Texas border about 3 a.m. CT (0800 GMT) Thursday, then weakened as it traveled north.
By afternoon, it was over northern Louisiana, and its heavy rains had resulted in flooding and road closures in each state bordering the Gulf, from eastern Texas to northwestern Florida.
A tornado was reported on Thursday near Birmingham, Alabama, destroying several buildings and injuring at least four people, according to the National Weather Service and local media.
None of the injuries were life-threatening, said Nick Dyer, police chief in Fairfield, where the tornado hit.
The National Hurricane Center forecast that the storm would reach southeastern Arkansas early Friday and Tennessee later that day, possibly causing more flooding.
By midday Thursday the storm had caused a 16 percent cut in Gulf of Mexico oil production, representing around 288,000 barrels per day of output, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.
Energy operators had evacuated 39 production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, or roughly 5 percent of them.
The Gulf of Mexico region is home to about 17 percent of U.S. crude and 5 percent of dry natural gas output, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The storm’s only reported fatality occurred on Wednesday, when a 10-year-old boy was struck by a log dislodged by a large wave as he stood near the shore in Fort Morgan, Alabama, the Baldwin County coroner said.
Reporting by Liz Hampton in Houston, Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Scott DiSavino in New York; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Leslie Adler