Some schools were closed and about 28,800 Acadiana residents were without power Monday after a severe thunderstorm outpaced the forecast and, with little warning, passed over the region at 8:15 a.m.
But forecasters are predicting clear and cool weather after the last of several days of severe and sporadic thunderstorms is expected to pass through the Acadiana region by Tuesday morning.
The 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms anticipated before 7 a.m. Tuesday should diminish to about 30 percent to 40 percent by Tuesday afternoon, but “for the rest of the week, we should be done,” National Weather Service meteorologist Donovan Landreneau said.
Forecasters expected Monday’s storm to hit the Acadiana region about noon, but it formed and reached a level of severity that gave it a faster-than-normal speed as it traveled east from southeast Texas to Louisiana, Landreneau said.
“It was moving almost as fast as interstate traffic,” he said.
In Lafayette, dense, dark clouds turned overcast skies a surreal dark-as-night for about 10 minutes as sheets of rain flooded the streets and 50 to 60 mph wind gusts of wind downed trees and power lines.
The city, already soggy from weekend thunderstorms, collected about an inch-and-a-half of rain Monday, and the swollen Vermilion River had elevated to a foot above flood stage by Monday afternoon.
Parts of St. Mary Parish saw 2-3 inches of rain around Lydia, Lake Fausse Point and Franklin, but the heaviest downpours happened in south Vermilion Parish and offshore, where rain levels reached 3-4 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Gusts off the coast averaged 60-80 mph, with winds off Marsh Island reaching 100 mph.
Cleco, Entergy, Slemco and Lafayette Utilities System still were working to restore power to all of its customers Monday afternoon as dark clouds again were rolling into the region with thunderstorms expected after midnight.
LUS said about 6,900 customers were without power at the peak of the storm, and Cleco was reporting about 8,200 within the eight-parish Acadiana region. Entergy reported about 5,500 outages in the Acadiana parishes and Slemco about 8,200.
A portion of the Breaux Bridge Highway near the Lafayette Parish and St. Martin Parish lines was closed during the midday hours after low-hanging power lines were reported.
Lafayette Parish School System officials reported a partial power outage at Green T. Lindon Elementary in Youngsville that affected some bathrooms on the campus.
Parents were given the option around noon Monday to pick up their children ahead of the school’s regular 2:30 p.m. dismissal.
Ascension Episcopal School’s downtown Lafayette campus closed around 10 a.m. after a tree fell through the roof of a classroom.
In St. Landry Parish, Opelousas High School and the Magnet Academy of Biomedical Sciences closed because of power outages. Jefferson Island Elementary, Daspit Elementary and Jeanerette Senior High in Iberia Parish were closed also because of outages, as were St. Bernard Elementary in Breaux Bridge and Elton Elementary and High Schools in Jefferson Davis Parish.
All classes are expected to resume as normal on Tuesday, except Parks primary in St. Martin Parish, which will be remain closed because of a power outage .
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