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Flash Flood Emergency in New Orleans, Mississippi River projected to see one of its highest crests on record

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A Flash Flood Emergency was declared for New Orleans, Louisiana early Wednesday morning, July 10, 2019, after up to 254 mm (10 inches) of rain hit the city within just several hours. 

The rain was produced by a tropical disturbance organizing in the Gulf of Mexico and expected to become a tropical storm (Barry) on July 11 and a hurricane on the 12th.

The system is expected to produce total additional rain accumulations of 152 – 304 mm (6 to 12 inches) near and inland of the central Gulf Coast through early next week, with isolated maximum rainfall amounts of 458 mm (18 inches), NHC noted.

NWS extended the Storm Surge Watch westward to Intracoastal City Louisiana at 21:00 UTC today. A Hurricane Watch has been issued from the Mouth of the Mississippi River westward to Cameron Louisiana and a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from north of the Mouth of the Mississippi River to the Mouth of the Pearl River.

The Mississipi River at New Orleans is already at 4.87 m (16 feet) due to historic spring flooding in the central U.S. This is just 30 cm (1 foot) below flood stage.

However, the projected surge of 90 – 1.5 cm (3 to 5 feet) would raise the level to 5.8 – 6.7 m (19 – 22 feet); this is above minor flood stage of 19 feet and major – 6 m (20 feet). 

The record level for this area is 6.49 m (21.3 feet) set in 1922.

Featured image credit: NOAA/GOES-East. Acquired: 20:50 UTC, July 10, 2019

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