Storms rolling through the central US and Gulf states Monday into Tuesday dumped as much as 18 inches in some areas leading to flash flooding and a state of emergency with more storms and rain coming the next 2 days.
Parts of the Gulf Coast and the south-central US have already seen deadly flooding over Monday and Tuesday as severe weather, heavy rain and the threat of tornadoes will continue on Wednesday and Thursday for the region, as well as into the Plains and the mid-central US.
Current Severe Weather and Flooding Alerts
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued severe weather and flooding alerts along the Gulf and into portions of the central US for Wednesday.
Multiple alerts were issued for southern Texas including a gale warning, flood warning, severe thunderstorm warning, and flash flood watch.
A flash flood watch is in effect throughout eastern Texas with flood warnings in many areas, especially along the Gulf Coast.
Southern and the western half of Louisiana are also under a flash flood watch with flood warnings in numerous areas throughout those same areas of the state.
A flash flood watch and numerous flood warnings are in effect along the southern border and Gulf Coast regions of Mississippi.
Southeastern Oklahoma, as well as western and central Arkansas, are also under a flash flood watch, as well as flood warnings in some areas.
A broader forecast map from the NWS shows heavy rain with potential flooding affecting portions of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri on Wednesday. Thunderstorms will be prevalent throughout the central US.
On Thursday, thunderstorms continue throughout the central US, while the potential for heavy rain and flooding will again focus over eastern Texas, western and southern Louisiana, southeastern Oklahoma, and southwestern Arkansas.
Catastrophic Flooding in Louisiana
Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards has declared a state of emergency for the state after catastrophic flooding brought on by up to 18 inches of rain in some areas, leaving an estimated 400 to 500 homes flooded and the number is expected to rise as more data comes in. At least three men died in the floodwaters in the state.
“The flash flooding throughout Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana is dangerous and potentially life-threatening,” Gov. Edwards wrote in a Facebook post. “The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is in contact with local leaders about their needs.”
Lake Charles saw its third-heaviest rain event in its history, the Advocate reported.
It will eclipse what we traditionally consider a 100-year event,” Mayor Nick Hunter said. “What we experienced yesterday was more rainfall than Hurricane Laura — in certain parts of the city of Lake Charles, more rainfall than Hurricane Delta.”
Photos on social media showed floodwaters nearly to the rooftops of vehicles. Parents used boats to retrieve children from school.
Parts of Baton Rouge received over ten inches of rain on Tuesday according to the NWS.
An additional 3-6 inches is expected in Louisiana on Wednesday and Thursday.
Flooding in Texas and Power Outages
Flooding in Texas left over a hundred thousand without power, but as of midday local time on Wednesday, nearly 40,000 customers in Texas still remained without power, according to poweroutage.us.
Severe weather in Texas took down trees and poles, stranded motorists, and left some roads impassable.
Catastrophic Times Can Take a Toll on Your Mental Health
During catastrophic conditions and times such as those Americans have been enduring throughout the pandemic, many people fall into despair and abuse substances. Now is a good time to consider a detox from alcohol or counseling and/or treatment to reduce or stop drinking.