Heavy rains in Texas, Louisiana add to misery in flood zones

Heavy rain is pounding parts of Texas and is expected to move over Louisiana, adding to the misery of people whose homes and cars were flooded earlier this week

Via AP news wire
Wednesday 19 May 2021 16:02
Severe Weather South
Severe Weather South

Heavy rain kept pounding parts of Texas before moving over Louisiana on Wednesday, adding to the misery for people whose homes and cars were flooded by an earlier drenching.

The prospect of more rain wasn't welcome in southern Louisiana, where heavy downpours earlier this week swamped vehicles and closed a major interstate. Three people were killed and one was missing after driving into high water. Flood watches covered most of Louisiana and a large part of Texas on Wednesday. Parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi were also under flood watches.

Up to 4 more inches (10 centimeters) of rain was possible through late Thursday near the coast in the hard-hit Lake Charles Louisiana, area, the National Weather Service said. Lake Charles is still recovering from back-to-back hurricanes last fall and a deep freeze in February. Twelve to 15 inches of rain fell in parts of Lake Charles in a 12-hour period Monday, the weather service said.

In Baton Rouge Louisiana, piles of ruined furniture, carpet and clothing lined the street in a neighborhood where residents were beginning to clean up from the earlier storms, WBRZ-TV reported. One man, David Earl, told the station that so much water flowed into his home through cracks and a dog door that his furniture began to float.

Some schools in Louisiana were closed on Wednesday in anticipation of severe weather.

In Texas, strong thunderstorms were rolling through the Houston metropolitan area early Wednesday. More showers and storms are possible in southeast Texas through Friday, the weather service said, and more flooding was possible as heavy rains fall on already-saturated ground.

“It is mind-boggling,” said Patrick King of Lake Charles. He was at a car rental office Tuesday after his truck was flooded Monday. He still hadn’t moved back into his house after it flooded during October’s Hurricane Delta, but recently had new furniture delivered to the home. Now it's been flooded again.

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter estimated that 400 to 500 structures flooded during Monday’s downpours. Hunter was mayor last year when the city was hit by Hurricane Laura on Aug. 27 and then six weeks later by Delta. Then in February, the deep freeze froze pipes and caused widespread drinking water problems.

The Louisiana Department of Health said Wednesday that three deaths have been confirmed to be storm-related. The Calcasieu Parish coroner said a 61-year-old man was found in a vehicle submerged under water. The body of 33-year-old Justin Blaine Thompson was found in a vehicle submerged in water under a Baton Rouge overpass, another coroner’s office said. And near Port Allen, 40-year-old Alvarado Morentes Hermelindo died and another person was missing after their car crashed into a canal Monday evening, Louisiana State Police said.