Harvey prompts watches and warnings in Louisiana

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) –

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A Flash Flood Watch has been expanded to cover all of southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi through Thursday at 7 p.m.

The center of Tropical Storm Harvey was re-emerging into the Gulf of Mexico early Monday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Large Flash Flood Warning from W. St. Mary Parish through Lafayette to Opelousas. This related to rain band I showed in prior tweet. #LAwxpic.twitter.com/hNd6Ckl3HR

— Steve Caparotta (@SteveWAFB) August 28, 2017

Due to life-threatening flooding in southeastern Texas from Tropical Storm Harvey, residents should stay where they are if it is safe and don’t drive into flooded roads, officials advised.

As of 10 a.m., the center of circulation was at 28.5 North, 96.0 West, or about 25 miles east-northeast of Port O’Connor, TX. Maximum sustained winds were 40 mph and it was moving to the southeast at about 3 mph.

Tropical Storm Warning from Cameron westward. Tropical Storm Watch from Cameron to Intracoastal City. Rain still the main concern. #LAwxpic.twitter.com/Iaz6NhrYBF

— Steve Caparotta (@SteveWAFB) August 28, 2017

The catastrophic flooding has prompted flash flood emergencies. The center is expected to continue moving slowly to the southeast throughout Monday and then make a slow northeastward shift Tuesday, according to forecasters.

The NHC said Harvey is expected to produce another 15 to 20 inches of rain through Friday over the upper Texas coast and into southwestern Louisiana. It added isolated storm totals may reach 50 inches over the upper Texas coast, including the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area.

All flights to Houston from the two major airports in south Louisiana are canceled. No one can get to Houston from the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport or the Baton Rouge Airport. However, there are some flights available to Dallas.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to hold a news conference around noon to update Louisiana’s citizens on the latest on the storm and the effects it could have on the state over the next few days. The governor is also expected to visit the Lake Charles area Monday.

Volume-wise, this has likely reached the rainfall that fell during Allison in June 2001, and it continues to rain, NWS said.

The problem with Harvey is that there are no controlling steering currents in the atmosphere to direct this storm. The way things look right now, don’t be surprised to see Harvey continue to meander, or remain essentially stationary, for the next couple of days.

That lack of evident steering means that there remains a potential for Harvey to head into almost any direction, hence the NHC’s “cone of uncertainty” that certainly looks more round than anything else. And “any direction” means that moving East and back into the Gulf – while not very likely – is not out of the question.

The rainfall experts with the NWS Weather Prediction Center are still hinting at rain event totals topping 30 inches in places.

Stay alert this week and follow the WAFB First Alert Stormteam on air, online, and on social media for continuous updates.

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