New Orleans flooding: Heavy rains slam city

 eu.usatoday.com  05/12/2019 15:27:00   Lindsay Schnell

Heavy rains swamped New Orleans on Sunday, inundatingstreets, stranding cars and shutting down all public streetcar and bus service.

Three to four inches of rain fell across the city,according to the National Weather Service, which had warned of "life-threatening" flash flooding Saturday night into Sunday.

The worst of the rain was moving into the Florida Panhandle, the weather service said, but the city could expect to be dealing with flooding issues for awhile.NOLA.com reported that 11,500 New Orleans residents were without power early Sunday. A flash flood watch was extended until 10:45 a.m. local time in the city.

Its been wet all over the Gulf Coast the last few days, and New Orleans was one of the hardest hit.

The citywastrying to be proactive withresidents, encouraging them to park on high ground and not attempt to drive throughflooded areas. There's also a specific social media account New Orleans residents can follow for suggestions on emergency preparedness.

And while dry weather is expected to return to the region in the coming days, flooding on the Mississippi River could very wellget worse throughout the month.

River flooding may continue into June as floodwaters in rivers farther north travel southward and add onto the ongoing flooding along the lower Mississippi River, AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.

On Friday, the river rose so rapidly six inches in 24 hours that the Army Corps of Engineers had to open the Bonnet Carr spillway, about 12 miles westof New Orleans, four days earlier than initially planned as a precautionary measure to relieve stress on the city's levees.

At least half ofNew Orleans is at or below sea level and suffered catastrophic flooding during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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