In Hurricane Patricia's wake, torrential rains move into Louisiana

2015-10-26 10:29
(Jonathan Levinson, AFP)

(Jonathan Levinson, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Houston - Torrential rainstorms battered Louisiana on Sunday, leaving thousands without power, after pounding southeastern Texas as the remnants of Hurricane Patricia converged with a second storm.

The heaviest band of rain moved over the Gulf of Mexico, triggering coastal flood warnings and flash flood watches in southwest Louisiana and soaking New Orleans, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

About 22 000 people were left without power in the greater New Orleans area. Some streets were flooded, while a high tide surge brought some coastal flooding as well.

Rainfall has totalled as much as 18cm since late on Saturday night, and forecasters predicted another 13cm could fall. The NWS said waterspouts over lakes and tornados over land were both possible into the early morning hours.

"Most of the heavier rain to the west of New Orleans will taper off in the evening and for far eastern Louisiana it will probably end closer to midnight," said NWS forecaster Gavin Phillips.

The NWS issued a tornado watch for southeastern Louisiana and coastal Mississippi into early Monday, and warned that severe thunderstorms could develop in the region.

A tornado touched down near the community of Larose, about 45 minutes south of New Orleans, though no serious damage was reported.

Tides along the southern coast of Louisiana were expected to be a few feet above normal at high tide due to sustained winds, likely flooding roads in lower-lying areas, Phillips said.

More than 23cm of rain swelled rivers and flooded roads around Houston, but no injuries or deaths were reported as flash flood warnings ended.

Petroleum refineries along the US Gulf Coast, which make up more than 40% of US capacity, also appeared to be largely undamaged.

In the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin oil fields of south and west Texas, no major production cuts were reported. While the rains were heavy in Houston, they came after a month-long dry spell so flooding was relatively limited.

Texas withstands pummeling

The storms over the past two days drenched a large swath from south of Dallas to the southeast coast, triggering flash flooding in Navarro County, about 80km south of Dallas, on Saturday.

A Union Pacific freight train carrying cement derailed in Navarro County after a creek overflowed, washing out the tracks. Locomotives and rail cars were pushed on their sides, and a two-person crew was forced to swim to safety.

Repair teams cleared the derailed cars by Sunday morning, but they were not expected to be righted for several hours and the rail line was not due to reopen until Monday at the earliest, Union Pacific spokesman Jeff DeGraff said.

Navarro County was one of the hardest-hit areas. The tiny town of Powell got 50cm of rain over 30 hours, said meteorologist Brett Rathbun of Accuweather.

Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner reported dozens of rescues from vehicles, homes and businesses since Friday.

In San Antonio, a woman reported her boyfriend was swept into a drainage ditch as he walked his dog early Saturday.

The force of the water washed him out of the underground ditch and he passed out, the San Antonio Fire Department said on Twitter. He later came to and called authorities.

The rain was strengthened by the remnants of Patricia, which was downgraded to a tropical depression after crashing into Mexico's west coast on Friday as a powerful hurricane.

Read more on:    us  |  mexico  |  weather

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.