Flash flooding in the Baton Rouge area interrupted the Tuesday evening commute as severe thunderstorms settled over the capital region.
Rainfall averaged around 3 to 4 inches per hour while the storm was overhead, said National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Ricks.
The heaviest rainfall was in the Baker and Gonzales areas, with each receiving about 3.2 inches, he said.
But traffic woes seemed worst in and around downtown Baton Rouge as Interstate 110 closed in both directions at Scenic Highway for hours due to flooding. Stalled vehicles and high water levels also caused backups throughout the city.
I-110 is closed North and South at Scenic Highway due to flooding. Congestion is approaching one mile in both directions. Motorists are advised to use an alternate route.— Baton Rouge Traffic (@BR_Traffic) June 12, 2018
Authorities reported 29 car crashes and stalled or abandoned vehicles in the Baton Rouge area between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., according to traffic data posted on the City of Baton Rouge website. Some people helped each other push cars through flood waters once driving was no longer an option.
Ricks said the storm was one of several making its way across Louisiana on Tuesday. But what made this one unique was that it essentially stalled over the Baton Rouge area because its steering winds converged, canceling each other out and causing movement to slow.
Ricks said the forecast for the rest of the week suggests the weather won't change too much after Tuesday's storms, remaining hot and humid with a chance of thunderstorms.