USA – 2 Killed as Storms Hit South, Flood Emergency Declared in Louisiana After 335mm of Rain

A slow moving storm dumped massive amounts of rain on parts of Louisiana and eastern Texas from Tuesday 08 March. Some areas saw over 14 inches (355 mm) of rain in 24 hours with more heavy rain forecast until Friday 11 March.

At least 2 deaths have been reported as a result of the storm and floods, one in Dickinson Bayou, Texas, the other when a vehicle was swept off the road in floodwaters in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

Louisiana

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in 16 parishes in the northern part of the state.

In a statement he said that Acadia, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, Desoto, East Carroll, Grant, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Red River, Richland, Union, Webster and West Carroll have declared or are in the process of declaring states of emergency in order to assist residents in areas damaged by the severe weather.

National Weather Service Shreveport said:

“Very heavy rainfall developed during the afternoon of Tuesday, and continued through the overnight and into the daytime hours of Wednesday. Rainfall amounts of over 14 inches were  recorded in a few locations before the rain ended. Many locations have experienced extreme flash flooding, particularly across East Texas and Louisiana. Numerous roadways were flooded and closed.  Many schools across the area were closed. Numerous high-water rescues were performed. Homes and businesses were evacuated in many locations, particularly in Haughton and Minden, LA.”

I49 in Kingston, LA.  Photo: NWS Shreveport
I49 in Kingston, LA. Photo: NWS Shreveport

In Haughton around 100 homes were flooded in the Tall Timbers area. The Shreveport Times says “residents were forced to flee when at least 5 feet of water inundated their homes.”

Bossier Parish was also one of the hardest hit by floods. Over 100 roads have been closed in the area and officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents of 3,500 homes.

A Bossier Sheriff spokesman said:

“We’ve had folks who had to be rescued off rooftops, people rescued from cars, clinging to trees.”

Texas

In East Texas, the City of Kilgore has declared a state of emergency. Flooding in the city has prompted evacuations and required several flood rescues.

A disaster has also been declared in Gregg County. County Judge Bill Stoudt says the county has suffered widespread or severe damage resulting from flash flooding and substantial rainfall.

Several homes have been reported as damaged by floods in Lake Mexia, south of Dallas. Around 40 homes are flooded and 150 people have evacuated, according to Limestone County Emergency Management Coordinator.

Rainfall Figures

Rainfall figures according to NWS Shreveport. Figures in inches, for a 24 hour period to early (between 07:00 and 09:00) 09 March 2016.

Taylortown, Bossier Parish, LA – 14.44
Sailes, Bienville Parish, LA – 11.50
Barksdale AFB, Bossier Parish, LA – 11.39
Jamestown, Bienville Parish, LA – 10.77
Homer RAWS Site, Claiborne Parish, LA – 10.25
1 mile N of Homer, Claiborne Parish, LA – 9.42
Arcadia, Bienville Parish, LA – 9.10
Swartz, Ouachita Parish, LA – 8.89
Longview, Gregg County, TX – 8.60
Monroe, Ouachita Parish, LA – 8.53
Southern Hills, Shreveport, Caddo Parish, LA – 8.03
4 NW Nesbitt, Harrison County, TX – 7.87
Marshall, Harrison County, TX – 7.38
Carthage, Panola County, TX – 7.06
Shreveport Regional Airport, Caddo Parish, LA – 6.33

24 hour rainfall levels for Louisiana and Texas. Image: NWS Shreveport
24 hour rainfall levels for Louisiana and Texas. Image: NWS Shreveport

Further Heavy Rain Expected

Due to the slow movement of the storm, heavy rain and thunderstorms will continue to affect many of the same areas until Friday 11 March, NWS said. Flash flood watches were in place for parts of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and southern Illinois.

Flood Summary

Last updated: July 15, 2016
Event
East Texas, USA, March 2016
Date
March 8 to March 20, 2016
Type
Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall
A slow moving storm dumped massive amounts of rain on parts of East and Southeast Texas from Tuesday 08 March, 2016. By 16 March, the Sabine River at Deweyville had reached record levels. Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, declared a State of Emergency for 17 counties on 14 March. The counties affected are: Angelina, Erath, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Newton, Orange, Parker, Sabine, San Augustine, and Tyler.

Locations

Deweyville

Magnitude

Rainfall level
218.44 mm in 24 hours
Longview, Gregg County, Texas - March 8 to March 9, 2016
Rainfall level
199.90 mm in 24 hours
Nesbitt, Harrison County, Texas - March 8 to March 9, 2016
River level
10.131552 metres
Sabine River, Deweyville, Texas - March 16, 2016

Damages

Evacuated
2,000

Flood Summary

Last updated: July 21, 2016
Event
Louisiana, USA, March 2016
Date
March 8 to March 20, 2016
Type
Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall
A slow moving storm dumped massive amounts of rain on parts of East and Southeast Texas from Tuesday 08 March, 2016. By 16 March, the Sabine River at Deweyville had reached record levels. Major disaster declared for Louisiana Parishes of Bossier, Claiborne, Grant, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Webster, Beauregard, Bienville, Caddo, Caldwell, DeSoto, LaSalle, Livingston, Madison, Natchitoches, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Union, Vernon, Washington, West Carroll and Winn.

Magnitude

Rainfall level
366.78 mm in 24 hours
Taylortown, Bossier Parish, Louisiana - March 8 to March 9, 2016

Damages

Buildings damaged
6,143
Louisiana
Fatalities
4 people
Louisiana
Evacuated
4,255
Louisiana