Update, 2:30 p.m: At least one school system, Lafayette parish schools, will be closed on Thursday because of impending weather.
Update, 1:20 p.m.: The latest forecast from the National Weather Service increases to amount of rain expected over the next three days in south Louisiana. The forecast now calls for around 10 inches in the New Orleans area and 4-5 inches in the Baton Rouge area.
Update, 11 a.m.: While south Louisiana is under a flash flood watch from Thursday morning through Saturday morning, northwest Louisiana continued Wednesday to contend with flooding and other weather-related issues.
State Police closed Interstate 20 near Gibsland after it became covered with a foot of water, making the road impassable, according to The Associated Press. The flooding also caused the state to close offices in Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, Morehouse and Webster parishes Wednesday. Also closed are Louisiana Tech and Grambling State University.
Update, 7 a.m. Wednesday: The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for southeast Louisiana, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans, from Thursday morning through Saturday morning.
On Tuesday, up to 11 inches of rain fell over parts of northwest Louisiana, flooding up to 80 homes and causing a nursing home near Minden to be evacuated, according to The Associated Press. No injuries have been reported.
Meteorologist Michael Berry in Shreveport said another 7 to 10 inches rain was expected on Wednesday into Thursday.
A triple weather threat headed towards Louisiana is expected to bring heavy rain, possible strong storms Thursday and coastal flooding until Saturday morning.
A slow-moving weather system will make its way through the state this week and will bring between 4 inches and 7 inches of rain to south Louisiana with some areas facing the possibility of getting several inches more, according to the National Weather Service.
“The biggest threat right now is heavy rain,” said Robert Rickey, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Slidell.
The forecast is about the same for Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans with heavy rain continuing throughout the rest of the week.
The timing would have the heavy rain hitting Lafayette starting Tuesday evening and reaching Baton Rouge on Wednesday evening as the front slowly pushes through the state.
[Having trouble seeing radar below? If so, click here.]
The heavy rain could bring the chance of flash floods in low-lying areas while a south wind will help push water onshore in coastal areas, raising tides by a foot or two.
Heavy rains could dump more water into rivers and streams, but around south Louisiana, water levels have been falling, so there is room to accommodate at least some of the additional rainfall. Water on some rivers could reach minor flood levels.
Storms Thursday could bring heavy winds, hail and isolated tornadoes, Rickey said.
Rainfall will likely continue through Friday before tapering off Saturday.
“We’re going to have a beautiful day Sunday,” Rickey said.