Severe flooding in Louisiana forces evacuations, school closures

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  March 9, 2016 at 12:02 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, March 9 (UPI) -- A storm system moving through the southern United States killed at least one person in Texas and forced evacuations in Louisiana on Wednesday.

The storms were expected to continue throughout the day with the heaviest rainfall forecast for eastern Texas, parts of Arkansas and western Louisiana, where flash flood emergencies were declared for the parishes of Bossier, Caddo, Webster, DeSoto and Red River due to widespread flooding.

Nearly a foot of rain fell near Shreveport and another half a foot was expected to fall. The storm moved into the United States from Mexico on Monday night. The Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness warned multiple roadways throughout the state have been closed.

The Meadowview Health and Rehab Center in Minden was partially evacuated due to flood waters. Schools in the Calcasieu and Cameron parishes were closed Wednesday.

The National Weather Service warns of a flash flooding threat through parts of the southern plains and the lower and central Mississippi Valley.

"Showers and thunderstorms will continue to affect many of the same areas through Friday. Heavy rain falling over the same areas repeatedly will lead to the threat of flash flooding for some areas," the NWS said in a statement. "Additionally, the Storm Prediction Center is forecasting a slight risk of severe thunderstorms today across portions of the western Gulf Coast states."

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