GOHSEP prepares for potential flash flooding

June 19, 2017 - 5:25 pm

State officials are preparing for potential flooding as a potential tropical storm moves towards the southwestern coast of Louisiana. Mike Steele with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness says heavy rains and potential flash flooding are the biggest threat. The National Weather Service is calling for three to six inches of rain across much of the state, with some areas a foot of rain.

“The potential for 10 to 15 minutes of rainfall are numbers we haven’t seen since the August flooding, and of course we received more than double that in some places. Anytime you see those numbers, it definitely sends up a red flag,” Steele said.

Steele encourages the public to prepare for the coming storm now. He says many parishes are already handing out sandbags in preparation for this rain event, which is expected to peak Wednesday and Thursday.

“Once the heaviest rain starts, it’s difficult to take any action then. So being aware of the forecast and the track of this storm, and how fast this storm may or may not leave the state is another issue,” Steele said.

Steele says if the storm stalls along the coast and we have continued rain, more problems could develop. But he says one of the biggest problems from flash flooding is not in homes, it’s on the roadways.

“Most of our fatalities in the August flooding were from people that drove through roadways that had water crossing them. You should never do that. The old saying turn around, don’t drown still applies,” Steele said.

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