Month's worth of rain in 24 hours hits parts of U.S. Gulf Coast, at least one person killed

Month's worth of rain in 24 hours hits parts of U.S. Gulf Coast, at least one person killed

A month's worth of rain hit parts of Texas and Louisiana in just 24 hours on June 5 to June 6, 2019, causing flash flooding and leaving at least one person dead. At least 4 tornadoes touched down in Louisiana.

A tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to fuel more rounds of rain through June 7 to June 9, and aggravate flash flooding across southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. As much as 76 cm to 127 mm (3 to 5 inches) of rain could fall daily, and some areas may be hit with a 305 mm (1 feet) or more of rain from the multi-day event, AccuWeather said.

On June 5, Wharton and Palacios cities, Texas, picked up a massive 203.2 mm (8 inches) of rain in less than 12 hours. Lafayette, Louisiana, is among the cities most severely impacted by flooding. On June 5, the city set a daily maximum rainfall record of 87.8 mm (3.46 inches), breaking the old record of 61.2 mm (2.41 inches) set in 1926. The 24-hour total for Lafayette ending at 15:00 UTC (10 a.m. local time) was 195.3 mm (7.69 inches), according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines. The city typically receives 179.8 mm (7.08 inches) of rain during the entire month of June.

Heavy rains in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, triggered flash flooding and prompted multiple water rescues by first responders. According to local TV station WBRZ, officials are blaming the flooding for at least one fatality. In a press conference on June 6, Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome said a man died after his vehicle stalled in floodwaters. The man tried to escape from the vehicle but was pulled under water as it sank. Rescuers were able to pull him out and rush him to the hospital where he later died.

A second fatality was reported in Bexar County, Texas, after a person was struck by lightning when a thunderstorm was nearby, according to Fox San Antonio.

Other places that racked up stunning rainfall totals include Midfield, Texas, which was hit with more than 355.6 mm (14 inches) of rain from June 5 to June 6. Lane City, Texas, saw more than 279.4 mm (11 inches) and Welsh, Louisiana, picked up the same amount of rain over the same time period.

Storm chaser Wesley Wolfe and certified weather spotter by the National Weather Service (NWS), said on Twitter that about 152.4 mm (6 inches) of rain fell in a span of just 90 minutes on June 6. "Never seen it this high," Wolfe said in another post on Twitter as the water threatened to enter his home, AccuWeather said.

"Sometimes I feel like it’s the apocalypse often in New Orleans," Gale Marie said in a tweet on June 6. She captured a video of the flooded streets in the city as water shot out a vent from below, further flooding the streets.

Downpours also exacerbated flooding problems in portions of Oklahoma and Arkansas, with numerous reports of flooding and water rescues around the Oklahoma City metro area on June 6, according to AccuWeather.

On late June 6, The Conway Fire Department and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommended the evacuation of all residents in the Lollie Bottoms area of Conway, Arkansas, due to deteriorating conditions at the Lollie Levee.

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome said a man died after his vehicle stalled in floodwaters. The man tried to escape from the vehicle but was pulled underwater as it sank. Rescuers were able to pull him out and rush him to the hospital where he later died.

Severe weather provided a one-two punch for many in the region. The NWS Storm Prediction Center listed six preliminary tornado reports in Louisiana as of morning on June 7.

A slow-moving storm system will bring persistent rainfall, occasionally heavy, to much of the southeast U.S. through the weekend, NWS warns. The heaviest rain will occur along the Gulf Coast into early Saturday and then gradually shift into the southern Appalachians.

Featured image credit: NOAA/GOES-East. Acquired 22:30 UTC, June 6, 2019.

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