Louisiana’s annual rainfall ahead of schedule after record flooding, per University experts

Posted on lsunow.com on 8/25/2016.

In terms of rainfall, Louisiana is far ahead of schedule, according to two University experts.

The “hurricane-like” flooding from earlier this month was a hurricane in infancy, he said. However, it could not be considered a tropical storm because its winds never reached 38 mph.

Keim said this event was the biggest two-day rainfall in Louisiana since May 10, 1995. The state’s previous high was 24.46 inches in Abita Springs. This flood brought the record high up to 31.39 inches in Watson.

“We didn’t just beat the record, we crushed the record,” Keim said.

In addition to 32 straight hours of rainfall, records show the state has already had about 77 inches of rain this year. The state’s average yearly amount of rainfall is roughly 60 inches.

“We’re running way ahead of schedule for rainfall,” Keim said.

Louisiana is even close to breaking its all-time state record, which is about 88 inches.

Civil and environmental engineering assistant professor Aly-Mousaad Aly added insight on the reconstruction of buildings and housing after the recent flooding and the dangers to structures if a hurricane is to make its way to Louisiana.

He said the presence of hurricanes, flooding and tornadoes is a result of climate change. The key is not to worry about preventing them but to learn how to live with them.

Aly stressed the importance of disaster preparation. It is important to have homes prepared for extreme weather, such as intense winds and potential flooding, he said. Families should create or update an emergency evacuation plan in May.

When making a list, Aly said to consider the five “P’s of Evacuation”: people, prescriptions, papers, personal needs and priceless items.

The engineering field is also researching more effective building codes for housing in areas prone to natural disasters. Aly said following appropriate building codes can keep residents on the “safe side” of upcoming disasters and maybe even prevent damage.

This year’s tropical season is predicted to be average to above average, Keim said. An updated list of storm predictions was released in August, which stated that five to eight storms are expected to become hurricanes and two to four are expected to become major hurricanes.

Keim said the meteorology community is already exhausted after the last two weeks’ weather.

“The last thing we need right now is a hurricane in the Gulf threatening the state of Louisiana,” Keim said.