Posts tagged ‘weather’

Forecast: More rain headed this way

*published Oct. 28, 2009

Some locations may get as much as eight inches
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Local officials are warning residents that the area could see more rain and flooding over the next few days.

The National Weather Service projects that 3 to 5 inches of rain will fall, starting late today.

And forecasters say some locations may see more than 8 inches of rain before the bad weather moves out of the area early Friday.

Tides are expected to be 1 to 2 feet above normal, with water across some roads near waterways.

Dick Gremillion, director of the Calcasieu Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness, urges residents to be cautious around high water.

“You should do whatever you can to avoid high water,” Gremillion said. “If you don’t know how deep the water is, take an alternate route.”

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office said it had to dispatch deputies to respond to about a dozen calls about vehicles stranded because of the weather on Monday.

Gremillion said these kind of calls tie up law enforcement and fire department resources.

link: http://bit.ly/2J3Lfw

October 28, 2009 at 10:04 am Leave a comment

Area hit with second round of rough weather, causing more power outages

*published July 9, 2009
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

The Lake Area was struck Wednesday with a second round of bad weather in three days, but only minimal damage and power outages were reported.

A severe thunderstorm warning that went into effect at about 4:30 p.m. predicted wind gusts of up to 70 mph.

“The severity of the storm came from two storms colliding over Allen Parish,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Kent Kuyper.

He said the storms — one from the northeast and one from the southwest — collided and were intensified by the afternoon heat. “It was like pouring gas on the fire,” Kuyper said.

Wind gusts of 53 mph were recorded at Lake Charles Regional Airport, and nickelsize hail fell near Interstate 210 and La. 14, he said.

Kuyper said most damage was reported in and around Iowa, which was predicted to be hit hardest.

Downed trees and power lines were reported there, along with power outages.

“At its peak, we had about 7,000 residents without power,” said Sheila Pounders, Entergy regional customer service manager.

She said the outages, reported mostly in the eastern part of Calcasieu Parish, were all attributed to lightning strikes.

Pounders said some damage was caused when wind picked up a shed and sent it into a set of transmission lines.

Lake Charles police and Calcasieu Parish dispatchers reported no major incidents during the storm. State police listed four minor accidents.

Kuyper said residents can expect the area to see normal weather, with temperatures in the high 90s and about a 20 percent chance of rain, during each of the next two days.

article link: http://bit.ly/2URJH

July 9, 2009 at 1:37 am Leave a comment

Lightning leaves 14,000 powerless

State Police report 10 accidents in 40-minute period Monday evening
*published July 7, 2009
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Lake Charles went dark Monday evening as a series of lightning strikes left about 14,000 people without power, an Entergy official said.

“We estimated somewhere near a dozen lightning strikes blew out transmission lines and transformers at multiple power stations throughout the parish,” said Sheila Pounders, an Entergy customer service manager.

Strong thunderstorms began to blanket the area at about 7 p.m., causing issues for some first responders.

State police reported about 10 crashes of varying degrees in a 40-minute period. Officials blamed the heavy rain for the influx of accidents.

Lake Charles police and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office dispatchers said their agencies handled nothing out of the ordinary.

The Lake Charles Fire Department reportedly dealt with about a dozen false calls caused by fire and home alarms that were triggered as power flickered.

Pounders said technicians were out working as soon as the rain stopped and would work through the night.

As of 10 p.m., 8,371 people in Calcasieu Parish remained without power, she said.

article link: http://bit.ly/9Z0pi

July 7, 2009 at 2:03 am Leave a comment

DRY, HOT SUMMER: SW La. faces water watch

Drying soil stresses area agriculture
*published June 23, 2009
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Some folks are feeling the pain of the abnormally dry conditions that continue throughout the area.

“Most of the parish has not had rain for at least three weeks,” said Jerry Whatley, a county agent with the LSU AgCenter Extension Service.

Whatley’s main focus is on crops.

“What’s significant is that if we were having 60-degree weather,” the moisture shortage would not be as bad.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture estimate has 82 percent of the state labeled as short or very short on soil moisture for the week that ended Sunday.

About three weeks ago, 83 percent of the state had adequate or surplus moisture.

Whatley said rice and sugarcane producers are seeing their costs go up as they pump more water from their irrigation wells.

He also suggested some homeowners shouldn’t focus on their yards as much as usual.

“I know most people want to maintain their lawns and gardens, but they don’t realize how much moisture that takes,” Whatley said.

According to the latest drought outlook from the National Weather Service, the area is considered abnormally dry, with the next step being a moderate drought.

“If we don’t get any rain in the next few weeks, we could be headed that way,” said Joe Rua, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Lake Charles office.

This week’s forecast has temperatures in the high 90s all week, with the first chance of moisture on Saturday — a 20 percent chance of rain.

Whatley said the AgCenter expects the scorching weather to persist for the next 60 days.

In the cattle industry, this drought is bringing on longterm negative effects, Whatley said.

“Without proper moisture, the quality of forage decreases,” Whatley said.

For nursing cows, this causes a decrease in milk production, making it harder for them to feed their calves. Pregnant cows use more of their body fat.

“So when they give birth, they are in a poorer condition and struggle to not only feed the newborn calves, but will also rebreed slower,” Whatley said. “All of this translates to lost money for the owners.”

Lake Charles water superintendent Russell Buckles said last week that the city was pumping higher volumes of water to deal with the increased use.

Buckles suggested residents water early in the morning or late in the day and not let water overrun into the street and drains.

Brady Miller beats the heat by jumping the cool water in Prien Lake Park on Monday. With dry conditions and high temperatures expected throughout the week, this and other area water parks should be popular spots for area residents.  BY KAREN WINK

Brady Miller beats the heat by jumping the cool water in Prien Lake Park on Monday. With dry conditions and high temperatures expected throughout the week, this and other area water parks should be popular spots for area residents. BY KAREN WINK

Last Thursday, the Lake Charles Fire Department suspended indefinitely all burn permits and burning in general in the Ward 3 fire district.

“We had been following the conditions and decided as a precaution to put this in place,” said Capt. Jeremy LeBlanc.

He said there had been some grass fires, but not an alarming number.

article link: http://bit.ly/3InZF7

June 23, 2009 at 4:02 am Leave a comment

RAINY SUNDAY

Marlon Breaux wades through the high water on the 700 block of Franklin Street in Lake Charles on Sunday. Breaux, who was on his way to church, carries his dress pants and shoes to prevent them from becoming wet. According to Breaux, Franklin Street becomes impassable by car after every heavy rain. BY KAREN WINK

Marlon Breaux wades through the high water on the 700 block of Franklin Street in Lake Charles on Sunday. Breaux, who was on his way to church, carries his dress pants and shoes to prevent them from becoming wet. According to Breaux, Franklin Street becomes impassable by car after every heavy rain. BY KAREN WINK

Humidity abets storm system, its flooding rains
*published May 25, 2009
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

A large storm system that moved in from the Gulf of Mexico brought heavy rains and street flooding on Sunday. More of the same is expected today, which could create a soggy Memorial Day.

John Trares, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, said the large, slowmoving storm has been soaking most of the Southeast since Saturday. He said heavy humidity created a semi-tropical environment that helped the system maintain it’s size.

The southern parts of Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis and Beauregard parishes had the heaviest amounts of rain — between four and five inches.

About three inches of rain fell at the Lake Charles Regional Airport.

The Weather Service’s Memorial Day forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of rain, which Trares says may be spread out through the day and will contribute to localized flooding.

The flooding will most likely be in the southern part of Southwest Louisiana, with some minor flooding near downtown Lake Charles.

Tuesday’s forecast calls for a 30 to 40 percent chance of rain. The chances of rain will continue to drop as the storm weakens and moves away on a northwest path.

Trares said late Sunday that the center of the storm was over central Arkansas and moving toward Tulsa, Okla.

On Sunday evening, a flood warning was in place along the Sabine River near Deweyville, Texas. It will continue into the afternoon.

The river reached the flood stage of 24 feet overnight, causing minor lowland flooding in southwestern Beauregard Parish.

article link: http://bit.ly/5Hc18

May 25, 2009 at 1:18 pm Leave a comment