Historic May 18 rain should not be compared to 2016
The Great Flood of 2016 is, perhaps, forever the benchmark rain event for southeast Louisiana. However, for a few locations in southern East Baton Rouge and northern Ascension parishes, May 18, 2021 set new high water marks. Bayou Fountain and Dawson Creek had record crests. Some other United States Geological Survey gauges missed 2016 levels by mere feet.
Daily record rainfall totals were shattered at other USGS sites such as Old Ward Creek on Highland Road, Alligator Bayou in Kleinpeter, Claycut Bayou on Antioch Road and Bayou Fountain on Bluebonnet – collecting more than a foot of rain.
Matching with radar-estimated rainfall, that bulls-eye represents a 12-hour amount with what’s called a 500-year return frequency. In other words, there is just a 0.2 percent chance of seeing such an event in any given year.
Other than stats, comparing May 18 to 2016 is not practical. May 18 was a localized (less than a whole Parish) bombardment of smaller, partially human made drainage. 2016 was a geographically vast (many Parishes) inundation of natural drainage basins and backwater channels.
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