USA – Emergency Declared After Floods in Louisiana

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency after severe flooding in the state. Lake Charles and surrounding areas of Calcasieu Parish recorded more than 15 inches / 381 mm of rain in 12 hours on 17 May 2021.

Rainfall Lake Charles, Louisiana, 17 May 2021. Image: NWS Lake Charles

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said this was the third heaviest rain event in the history of the city. He speculated that more structures have been flooded than were during the 2020 hurricanes Laura and Delta combined. He said early assessments suggest “at minimum 400 to 500″ buildings have been flooded. Emergency crews received hundreds of calls for flood rescues from people trapped in their homes.

Areas of Baton Rouge were also badly affected. Baton Rouge Mayor, Sharon Weston Broome, reported 250 people were rescued or evacuated to higher ground. Around 50 roads were blocked by flood waters and 3 people died in vehicle accidents on flooded roads. Outages left 16,000 without power. Streets were flooded in parts of New Orleans metropolitan area, leaving vehicles stranded.

Governor John Bel Edwards said, “the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) stands ready to support our local partners with any emergency resources needed beyond their capabilities. We are only a few weeks away from the start of hurricane season, but this threat is the latest in a string of recent weather threats that remind us of the importance of preparedness and staying informed.”

Severe flooding also affected parts of Texas. Homes were flooded, prompting some evacuations in Fannett and other parts of Jefferson County. As of early 19 May street flooding was also reported in parts of Houston.

Further severe weather is expected. The National Weather Service said the danger of flash flooding will persist for portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi until at least 19 May 2021.

Rainfall in areas around Baton Rouge, Louisiana 18 May 2021. Image: NWS New Orleans
Flood rescues in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Photo: Calcasieu Parish Sheriffs Office

Social Media