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At least 1 dead as parts of Gulf Coast inundated with a month's worth of rain in just 24 hours

By Amanda Schmidt, AccuWeather staff writer
June 10, 2019, 5:01:30 AM EDT


The Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast was inundated by drenching rain Wednesday night into Thursday with some places seeing a month's worth of precipitation in a 24-hour period. The heavy rains sparked flash flooding, which is being blamed for at least one death, and triggered chaos across the south-central U.S. where an outbreak of severe weather also erupted, leading to reports of at least four tornadoes touching down in Louisiana.

Meanwhile, tropical moisture from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to fuel more rounds of rain through Monday across the Southeast. Some areas have already been hit with a foot or more of rain from the multi-day event.

<i>Emergency responders retrieved vehicles submerged in nearly 9 feet of water on Thursday, June 6, 2019. (Photo/Baton Rouge Police Department)</i>

<i>The Baton Rouge Police Dive Team was out checking vehicles after heavy downpours in the Baton Rouge area on June 6, 2019. (Photo/Baton Rouge Police Department)</i>

(Twitter / Wesley Wolfe)

Twitter user Wesley Wolfe reports that 6.5 inches of rain fell in two hours in Walker, Louisiana, bringing the total daily rainfall to 7 inches on Thursday, June 6.

(Twitter / Casey Viccellio)

Twitter user Casey Viccellio captured the flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Thursday, June 6.

(LADOT)

The Louisiana Department of Transportation captured the flooding on state roads on Thursday, June 6.

(Twitter / @lifewithKeisha)

Streets flooded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Thursday, June 6.

(Twitter / Robert Hollins with WAFB)

Heavy rain prompted street flooding in this neighborhood in Port Allen, Louisiana.

(Twitter / Robert Hollins with WAFB)

Heavy rain prompted street flooding in this neighborhood in Port Allen, Louisiana.

(Twitter / Robert Hollins with WAFB)

Heavy rain prompted street flooding in this neighborhood in Port Allen, Louisiana.

(Twitter / Robert Hollins with WAFB)

Port Allen Police Department monitors Ave B at Harry Brown, where heavy rain has caused flooding on Thursday, June 6.

(Twitter / Casey Viccellio)

Twitter user Casey Viccellio captured the flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Thursday, June 6.

(Twitter / Casey Viccellio)

Twitter user Casey Viccellio captured the flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Thursday, June 6.

(Twitter / Wesley Wolfe)

Range Ave in Denham Springs, Louisiana, is flooded on Thursday, June 6.

(Twitter / @lifewithKeisha)

Streets flooded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Thursday, June 6.


Both Wharton and Palacios, Texas, picked up an astonishing 8 inches of rain in less than 12 hours on Wednesday.

24-hour rainfall Gulf Coast

This graphic shows 24 rainfall totals from Wednesday into Thursday, at around 2:15 local time, across the Gulf coast region.


Lafayette, Louisiana, is among the cities most severely impacted by flooding from the downpours. On Wednesday, the city set a daily maximum rainfall record of 3.46 inches, breaking the old record of 2.41 inches set in 1926. The 24-hour total for Lafayette ending at 10 a.m. was 7.69 inches, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines. The city typically receives 7.08 inches of rain during the entire month of June. Rain continued to fall on Thursday.

Baton Rouge is another city that took a pounding from the heavy rain, which triggered flash flooding and prompted numerous water rescues by first responders. According to local TV station WBRZ, officials are blaming the flooding for at least one fatality. During a Thursday press conference, 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.

The victim was identified as 37-year-old William Jackson, WBRZ reported. Jackson's grim fate drew the attention of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards who lamented Jackson's death in a post on Twitter and implored citizens to "please be safe and do not drive through standing water."

Further tragedy was avoided by the quick decisive actions of first responders carrying out water rescues. WBRZ aired dramatic video of firefighters saving a woman who was trapped inside a vehicle being swept away by raging floodwaters. Elsewhere in Baton Rouge, a confirmed EF-1 tornado struck and flattened a home. The inhabitants of the destroyed house escaped with only minor injuries, according to the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office. All told, the NWS Storm Prediction Center reported at least eight tornadoes in the south-central U.S. on Thursday.

Initially on Thursday, reports emerged that a male construction worker had died when he was electrocuted while working on the roof of a home around 4 p.m. local time in the San Antonio area.

Later, the Public Information Officer for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office told AccuWeather that sheriff's deputies responded to the scene and found the man unresponsive. They quickly performed life-saving measures then transported him to Stone Oak Methodist hospital. While initial reports said the injury was due to lightning, the sheriff's office told AccuWeather Friday morning that it is still unknown how the worker was electrocuted.

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Other places that racked up stunning rainfall totals include Midfield, Texas, which was deluged with more than 14 inches of rain from Wednesday into Thursday. Lane City, Texas, received more than 11 inches and Welsh, Louisiana, picked up 11 inches over that same time period. Walker, located about 20 miles from Baton Rouge, was also inundated.

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

Texas rainfall totals


He was hardly the only one on social media taken aback by extreme amounts of rainfall.

"Sometimes I feel like it’s the apocalypse often in New Orleans," Gale Marie said in a tweet on Thursday. 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 Thursday.

Late Thursday, 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.

On Friday afternoon around 12:30 local time, city officials, including Mayor Bart Castleberry, said the levee was holding, but a breach appeared "imminent."


Severe weather provided a one-two punch for many in the region. The NWS Storm Prediction Center listed eleven preliminary tornado reports in Louisiana.

A video captured a tornado crossing the river near Convent, Louisiana. According to local broadcast meteorologist Steve Caparotta, only minor damage has been reported so far.

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