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Very heavy rainfall causes flooding in parts of Louisiana and Texas, another storm to drench South, U.S.

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Parts of Texas and southern Louisiana were hit by very heavy rains on Thursday and Friday, May 14 and 15, 2020, resulting in widespread flooding. Another storm system is forecast to continue its track across the Southern states through the end of the weekend, bringing downpour and locally severe thunderstorms along its course.​

On Thursday night, May 14, up to 396.2 mm (15.6 inches) of rain was reported near Covington in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. The sheriff's office had to rescue residents trapped in flooded homes and vehicles. Several roads were closed until Friday afternoon, May 15.

Another nearby neighborhood, Willow Bend Subdivision, was severely inundated by muddy floodwater due to Bedico Creek overflowing. The New Orleans area, which is across St. Tammany, was badly hit as well, with several houses flooded. 

In Texas, as much as 254 mm (10 inches) of rain fell on parts of the southern region, flooding roadways that led to motorists being stranded. Footage on social media showed flooded car sales lot, with some vehicles driving through waters in Beaumont.

The Beaumont Fire and Rescue then prompted motorists to avoid underpasses and service roads engulfed in high waters.

Between 76 to 254 mm (3 to 10 inches) of rain fell in a stretch of the I-10 corridor, between Beaumont and Orange near the border with Louisiana. Another bout of flooding was reported in parts of Pasadena, Texas, on Friday afternoon.

Showers and thunderstorms will lessen around Houston into Saturday night, May 16, as the center of the wet weather shifts into northern Texas, Louisiana, eastern Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Locally severe thunderstorms are likely in this path, with the Arklatex region at risk of damaging winds and probably some isolated tornadoes.

"The threat of heavy rain will shift eastward into the lower Mississippi Valley as the storm system weakens on Sunday," said AccuWeather meteorologist Mary Gilbert.

"This rain could act to aggravate flooding concerns that occurred this past Thursday night over portions of Louisiana."

Residents in Shreveport and New Orleans, Louisiana, to Little Rock, Arkansas, and Jackson, Mississippi, are advised to stay indoors this weekend due to threats of storms. Reduced visibility may also occur along stretches of I-10, 20, 30, and 55.

"Those who must travel will need to watch out for ponding on roadways, especially in poor drainage and low-lying areas, and should never drive through floodwaters."

By Sunday night into Monday, May 17 to 18, the severe weather will shift eastward, bringing rains to areas such as Montgomery, Alabama, and Atlanta.

The system is forecast to combine with another storm over the Midwest, and will then move over the East for much of the following week.

Featured image credit: St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office

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