Storms move east toward Alabama

2016-03-11 22:23
Neighbours help out a stranded man at his flooded US home in Osage City. (The Jefferson City News-Tribune, Kristopher Wilson, AP)

Neighbours help out a stranded man at his flooded US home in Osage City. (The Jefferson City News-Tribune, Kristopher Wilson, AP)

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Bossier City - Floodwaters are rising on the Alabama coast as torrential rains move in from Louisiana.

Police said water was beginning to cover roads on the west tip of Dauphin Island, a narrow, 25km-long barrier island dotted with beach homes built on stilts. Main roads were still passable around midday on Friday but may not be for long, police said.

Flooding also is occurring around a historic brick fort that was used to guard the mouth of Mobile Bay during the Civil War, police said, and waves were bashing into the rocky bed of the causeway that connects the island with the mainland. The island's 1 300 residents could be temporarily cut off if bay waters get too high.

The National Weather Service predicted nearly 150mm of rain could fall by early Sunday along the Alabama coast. Forecasters issued a flood warning for the region, and the weather service warned boaters to stay inshore because of gale-force winds blowing to about 50km/h.

Storms that have swamped Louisiana with torrential rain are moving eastward toward Alabama, with weather officials saying flooding is possible around Mobile Bay and warning that spring breakers need to be careful in the roiling Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service predicted on Friday that nearly 150mm of rain could fall by early Sunday around Mobile, Alabama, where downtown streets often flood during tropical deluges. Water already was rising in the fishing communities and boatyards south of the city.

Across Mobile Bay in the coastal tourist towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, thousands of college students have converged for spring break. There, forecasters warned of potentially deadly surf conditions.

Forecasters posted a warning for rip currents, which can quickly pull swimmers out to deep water, and said waves could reach 2m in height.

Read more on:    us  |  weather

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