When it comes to rain, one of the experts is Gavin Phillips, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Slidell.
It’s wet, he says. Don’t we all know that?
But Phillips said it is not unheard of to have so much rain in Louisiana, but it is still a very high level lately, in fact since springtime.
As of Sunday, in this month, there have been only four days in Baton Rouge without measurable rainfall and only two days in New Orleans.
Sudden storms are taking a physical toll, with flooding reported this week in north shore neighborhoods around Mandeville. In areas hit hardest by May flooding, not to mention parishes in southwest Louisiana hammered by hurricanes last year, many people are anxious at the first clap of thunder.
There are also political repercussions. Vigorous debates about new development in flood-prone south Louisiana are roiling meetings of public bodies.
In Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes, subdivisions — which developers argue are meeting the legal rules for building — have become political flashpoints. Some public officials and community groups are arguing for blanket moratoriums on new development, because paving and buildings make flooding worse for neighbors.
At the same time, changing the legal framework for development rules is difficult and requires intense study — taking too long, critics argue. And even the most basic drainage work, like the cleaning up bayous undertaken recently in Baton Rouge, is costly and takes time to achieve.
It’s wet. But even if the weather cooperates, the fallout will be with us for a while.