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Weather updates: Flash flood warning in north shore issued as storm heads toward New Orleans

Sporadic heavy rainfall drenches Baton Rouge on March 22, 2022.
Aubry Procell
/
WRKF
Sporadic heavy rainfall drenches Baton Rouge on March 22, 2022.

UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: A flash flood warning was issued for Hammond, Mandeville and Covington until 10:30 p.m., according to NWS.

In Baton Rouge, the flash flood warning was lifted around this same time.


UPDATE, 6:45 p.m.: A tornado watch for much of southeast Louisiana was canceled for East Baton Rouge and other nearby parishes. The watch is still in effect for the New Orleans area.

Around the same time, the severe weather had reached the North Shore, and officials issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Mandeville and Covington.

Entergy outage numbers have slightly dropped down to 27,000 customers, with the most outages reported in East Baton Rouge Parish at 6,593 customers.


UPDATE, 5:20 p.m.: Baton Rouge, Central, Zachary and a few surrounding parishes are under a severe thunderstorm warning until 6 p.m., according to NWS.

The weather agency reported 60 mph wind gusts in the area. Locations impacted include: Baton Rouge, Zachary, Baker, Denham Springs, Port Allen, Clinton, Greensburg, Addis, Brusly, Slaughter, Montpelier, Merrydale, Watson, Darlington, Pride, Brownfields, Greenwell Spring, Easleyville and Baton Rouge Airport.

As of 5:30 p.m., more than 39,000 Entergy customers were without power. The most power outages were reported in Jefferson Parish at 7,640.

A flash flood warning was also issued nearly 40 minutes after heavy rain had arrived to the Baton Rouge area. The warning will remain in effect through 7:15 p.m., according to NWS.


UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: According to the Entergy outage map, more than 28,000 of their customers statewide were without power. The majority of those customers were in East Baton Rouge Parish, with 4,058 in the dark.


UPDATE, 1:45 p.m.: A tornado watch is in effect for most of southeast Louisiana, including metro Baton Rouge and New Orleans, until 9 p.m. Wednesday.


Another line of thunderstorms is expected to hit south Louisiana this Wednesday, just over a week after an EF-3 tornado touched down in New Orleans and wreaked havoc on the town of Arabi in St. Bernard Parish.

Megan Williams, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Slidell, said the new storm pattern’s winds will pose the biggest threat.

“The wind right now looks like it could be 70-plus mph inside this line that's going to move through on Wednesday,” Williams said. “There will be the chance for a tornado or two, but mostly that's going to be embedded inside the line.”

Besides strong gusts inside the system, a tweet from NWS said residents should be wary this Tuesday through Thursday of smaller gusts of 30 to 40 mph and sustained winds of 25 to 30 mph. A wind advisory will be in effect Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Strong EF-2 tornadoes are also possible, a threat level that increased on Tuesday. Baton Rouge is at moderate risk of experiencing severe weather threats, while New Orleans is just below that at an enhanced level as of Tuesday afternoon.

Like last week’s storm system, this week’s storms will approach Louisiana from the west. However, it won’t originate from the Pacific Northwest like last week’s system; rather this storm will come to us from the Midwest and the High Plains.

Parts of the state north of the I-10/I-12 corridor are expected to get the worst of the system’s effects. New Orleans and Baton Rouge have a “slight” risk of severe weather, meaning that residents should expect scattered severe thunderstorms and high wind speeds.

Williams said that the line of storms will arrive in Baton Rouge between 2 and 6 p.m. Wednesday, and reach New Orleans between 5 and 10 p.m. The weather is expected to move eastward out of Louisiana by 11 p.m. at the latest.

Weather to expect in Baton Rouge:

  • Tornado watch in effect until 9 p.m. Wednesday
  • Wind advisory in effect from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday
  • Wednesday temperature: high of 82 degrees and low of 55 degrees
  • Thunderstorms will likely begin mid-afternoon and move east by 6 p.m.
  • Wind gusts up to 50 mph
  • Rainfall up to 1.5 inches, with locally higher amounts possible
  • Potential severe weather threats include tornadoes, large hail and flooding in areas with poor drainage
  • Thursday weather conditions: 74 degrees and sunny, winds 5 to 15 mph with higher gusts possible, low of 50 degrees

Weather to expect in New Orleans:

  • Tornado watch in effect until 9 p.m. Wednesday
  • Wind advisory in effect from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday
  • Wednesday temperature: high of 82 degrees and low of 60 degrees
  • Thunderstorms will likely begin late morning or early afternoon; storms should wrap up after midnight Wednesday
  • Wind gusts up to 50 mph
  • Up to 1 inch of rainfall, with locally higher amounts possible
  • Potential severe weather threats include tornadoes and large hail
  • Thursday weather conditions: 75 degrees and mostly sunny, winds 10 to 15 mph with higher gusts possible, low of 57 degrees

Williams recommends that residents in the storm system’s path have multiple ways to receive weather warnings and have a plan for where to go if a severe weather warning is issued in their area.

Aubry is a reporter, producer and operations assistant in Baton Rouge.