USA – Storm Cristobal Brings Flooding Along Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall on 07 June near the mouth of the Mississippi River and the island of Grand Isle in Louisiana.

The storm brought winds of up to 50 mph (85 kmh) and spawned a tornado in Florida. Heavy rainfall and a storm surge caused flooding in coastal areas of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

storm surge flooding in coastal areas of Biloxi, MS, after Storm Cristobal, June 2020. Photo: Biloxi Fire Dept

NWS New Orleans said Cristobal dumped 11.04 inches (280.4 mm) of rain in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Biloxi Keesler received 7.85 inches (199.39 mm), Baton Rouge 3.07 inches (77.97 mm) and New Orleans International airport 2.50 inches (63.5 mm). NWS Mobile reported 6.51 inches ( 165.35 mm) of rainfall in West Mobile, Alabama.

Emergency workers helped dozens of motorists trapped in flood waters in Biloxi, Mississippi. A bridge linking the mainland to Dauphin Island in Alabama was swamped and temporarily closed. Media reported houses along Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, were flooded.

A state of emergency was declared in Louisiana on 07 June and evacuation orders were issued for areas of Terrebonne, Plaquemines, and Lafourche parishes. Power outages were reported across New Orleans area.

As it moved north, Cristobal weakened into a depression early 08 June. Heavy rain is expected to spread northward through the Mississippi valley and the western great lakes during the next couple of days. The National Hurricane Centre said up to 15 inches (380mm) of rain could fall in some areas, and could cause significant river flooding across the mid and upper Mississippi Valley.

Cristobal formed from the remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda, which caused fatalities and damage in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Cristobal swept over southern Mexico on 03 June, dumping heavy rainfall in its wake and causing flooding in several state, in particular Yucat√°n, Tabasco and Campeche.

Storm Surge Levels and Predicted Storm Track

Dauphin Island NOAA Tides Currents – Inundation Tropical Depression Cristobal. Image: NOAA.
Grand Isle, LA NOAA Tides Currents – Inundation Tropical Depression Cristobal. Image; NOAA
Track of Storm Cristobal, USA, June 2020. Image: NHC