Flood threat to persist as downpours soak southern US into early weeknews AccuWeather
The stormy pattern that has unleashed unusually heavy rainfall across the southern United States since the beginning of August will continue through early this week.
The wet pattern triggered flooding in the metro areas of New Orleans and Montgomery, Alabama, last week. Many locations picked up their normal rainfall for all of August in the span of several days.
A stalled boundary separating dry air to the north and steamy air to the south will be the focal point for thunderstorm development through early week.
“While not every location will get hit with storms each day, the probability for this to happen will be much higher than what is typically seen in August,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott said.
The corridor from the lower Mississippi Valley through the Deep South and into the Carolinas will lie within the zone of repeating downpours.
Additional rainfall will struggle to soak into the saturated ground, leading to water rises on small creeks and streams.
Those who live in flood-prone areas should be prepared to evacuate at short notice.
“The excessive amounts of rain could prevent water from receding in flooded neighborhoods, hampering cleanup efforts for residents trying to recover from home and property damage,” Elliott said.
New Orleans will be particularly susceptible to more flooding due to a compromised water-pumping system. On Thursday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency for the city as a precautionary measure ahead of the additional rainfall.
“We have what we need in an event of a typical rainfall,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a press conference on Saturday. “We will not have what we need in the event of a deluge or major rain event.”
Motorists with plans to travel along stretches of interstates 10, 20, 40, 55, 65, 75, 85 and 95, should prepare for times of drastically reduced visibility and slower-than-normal travel.
Secondary and low-lying roads may be impassable due to high water. If you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and find a safer, alternate route.
Individuals along the Atlantic coast, especially at the beaches of the Carolinas, will want to use caution as Gert may endanger beachgoers with rough surf and rip currents into Wednesday.
A lull in the frequent downpours is likely during the latter part of this week.
Thunderstorms may be few and far between from Wednesday to Friday.
"Another zone of frequent showers and thunderstorms is likely to set up along the Gulf and southern Atlantic coasts this weekend," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "The upcoming pattern may renew the flooding risk once again."