A flash flood watch for East Baton Rouge has been extended through Friday evening as Tropical Depression Nicholas makes its way through eastern Louisiana.
Following heavy rains that already drenched the parish Tuesday into Wednesday morning, weather forecaster Christopher Bannan said experts are especially worried about rising water levels along parts of the Tangipahoa and Atchafalaya rivers north of Interstate 12.
Adding to concerns is a considerable amount of debris buildup leftover from Hurricane Ida, which has prevented waterlogged areas throughout East Baton Rouge from draining, resulting in heavily saturated soil.
“We’ve seen quite a bit more flooding than we probably would normally see with the amount of rainfall we had last night,” Bannan said.
He explained that extremely saturated soil is likely to cause immediate storm runoff, while debris blocking drainage basins allows water to rise much more quickly on roads in low-lying areas.
In total, southeastern Louisiana and southern coastal Mississippi are expected to see up to 5 additional inches of rainfall by Friday.
Bannan warned the watch may be extended into the weekend.