Severe Storms Cause Flooding in Texas and Across the South

Severe Storms Texas tornado
Severe storms are wreaking havoc across the southern United States with heavy rain, strong winds, and the threat of tornadoes, leading to dangerous flooding.

Early Wednesday, emergency crews in Kirbyville, Texas, were busy with “10 to 15 high-water rescues,” according to the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

Homes and businesses reported flooding damage as the Pin Oak Creek surged 10 feet in just six hours overnight, prompted by heavy rain and thunderstorms pounding the region. This led to a flash flood emergency declaration in Kirbyville by the National Weather Service.

The area has already experienced between 5 and 8 inches of rainfall, with forecasts suggesting an additional 3 inches could follow, as reported by the weather service office in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Over 30 million people in the Southeast are under threat from severe storms, with more than 13 million under flood watches extending from Texas to Georgia, due to heavy downpours, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

Reports of baseball-sized hail and strong winds, including gusts of 88 mph in Texas, have already emerged from the region, alongside a confirmed tornado that hit Raymond, Mississippi, late Tuesday night.

The weather service issued warnings urging people to seek shelter immediately and to avoid windows and outdoor spaces, given the high risk of severe weather, including potential tornadoes.

The threat of severe storms is expected to intensify throughout Wednesday as it moves eastward, increasing the risk of powerful tornadoes.

The prediction center warned of a level 4 out of 5 severe weather threat across central Gulf Coast states, including parts of Louisiana and Alabama. A level 3 out of 5 threat extends from western Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, while a level 2 out of 5 threat covers areas from eastern Texas to southwestern Georgia.

As storms continue to sweep across the South, power outages have affected nearly 130,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi. The number of outages may rise as the storms persist.

In addition to the severe storm threat, heavy rainfall poses a significant risk across the region, potentially leading to flash flooding and hazardous travel conditions. Flash flood warnings are in effect for parts of eastern Texas, northern Louisiana, and far western Mississippi, where rainfall totals could exceed 6 inches.

Flood watches are still in effect from Texas to Georgia until Wednesday evening, with the most intense rainfall anticipated from northeastern Louisiana to southwestern Georgia.

Flash flooding, often caused by prolonged heavy rain overwhelming the soil’s ability to absorb water, poses a significant risk to lives and property, second only to heat-related incidents in terms of weather-related fatalities.

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