Wednesday Evening Rainfall Causes Rivers to Rise Again
BATON ROUGE - Torrential thunderstorms with heavy rain and lightning rolled through the Baton Rouge area early Wednesday evening dropping nearly four inches of rain in an area raging from Baton Rouge to north of Zachary. This rain fell over an area that already has seen upwards of 15-20 inches over the last week causing some area rivers, that were previously falling, to begin rising again. The Comite river at Joor road rose almost three feet in four hours causing panic and concern for some residents who were calling 911 to report the event. Measuring gauges at Bayou Fountain, Alligator Bayou and Black Bayou Gonzales were also showing signs of those streams rising anywhere from one-half foot to one foot within two hours after the rain had fallen. None of the rivers are expected to rise above flood stage and another major flood event is not anticipated For the first time since Early Friday, the Amite River at Denham Springs has fallen below flood stage. Many area rivers are still above flood stages, but the levels are moving down quickly. Areas that need to continue monitoring river levels are residents near Alligator Bayou, New River Canal, Blind River and the Amite River in Southern Ascension and Livingston Parishes.
The river stages as of 11:00 pm Wednesday are as follows:
The Amite River will fall below flood stage from north to south beginning at Bayou Manchac Late Thursday and then to Maurepas by the end of the weekend. Backwater areas continue to deal with flood issues due to drainage and topography. Alligator Bayou, New River Canal and Blind River have been and remain particularly problematic. Receding water has been observed at most other locations.
For real time river forecasts and data, visit the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center. You can also find river levels graphics on the WBRZ Weather page. They are the final two photos in the slideshow.
Unrelated to the Amite, Comite, and other area rivers, False River residents are seeing flooding near their homes. According to the Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office, Lighthouse Canal has crested, and Bayou Sere is flowing out and the water level will continue to rise. There is a lot of acreage that drains into this lake and it is still flowing in. Unfortunately, the United States Geological Service, nor the National Weather Service have gauges on False River, so there is no forecast for how high it will go. The sheriff's office stated on Facebook that it has speculated that it could rise one more foot.
The Baton Rouge area remains under an areal flood warning until 3pm Thursday, but that will continue to be extended for locations where backwater flooding lingers. Northern St. James Parish is included in this warning area as locations on the Blind River and New River are expected to flood as well. While there are no guages to project levels in these locations, significant rises are anticipated. Due to relatively light winds, coastal flooding along the shore of Lake Maurepas is not anticipated at this time.
Unfortunately, the rest of the week calls for around 40-50% of the forecast area to see a shower any given today. Unlike Friday and Saturday which brought a constant barrage of moderate to heavy rain, these showers will be like those of any typical August day. They’ll bring a brief downpour, then move on their way. Effects of these showers may bring some localized flooding on some already vulnerable streets, but they shouldn’t impact the area rivers significantly.
There are however concerns about lightning in the coming days. As is typical with summer showers and thunderstorms, lightning could be frequent in any storms that develop. With many out and about, cleaning up and even working in standing water lightning presents a serious safety concern. Keep in mind that water conducts electricity well, so even a strike that is hundreds of yards away could seriously harm you.