Sunday, August 14, 2016

Vermont Dodges Storm Bullet, Many Other Areas Still Don't

The inside of a flooded Lafayette, Louisiana home Saturday.  
Here in Vermont this morning, I awoke to air that was still oppressively humid and awful, but with few signs of any storm damage.

There was a flash flood watch, and numerous severe storm warnings across the southern half of Vermont Saturday, but we don't have many reports of flooding and storm damage.  

Other parts of the nation aren't nearly so lucky, and I have an update below, since the weather across most of the eastern half of the nation has really gone off the rails this weekend.

First, we'll get through the local stuff for our Vermont readers.  

Oh, sure, some streets and basements flooded in Tupper Lake, New York, and where the bands of heaviest rains were, across north central Vermont and the southwest corner of the state, I'm sure some driveways  and the sides of dirt roads eroded amid rainfall totals of two or three or even more inches.

Some hail was reported in the stronger storms, and gusty winds as well. But given how soupy and wet the airmass was, flooding could have been much worse, despite the drought and near-drought conditions in place right before it started raining.

Today, a cold front of sorts will move through New England, so you'll start to notice the humidity this afternoon and evening.

It won't turn bone dry or autumnal, but you'll notice the refreshing difference tonight and tomorrow.

The cold front will trigger a few scattered showers and thunderstorms today, some with locally torrential rain, but they won't be widespread or long-lasting enough to trigger any more real flood alerts.

The weather in Vermont will turn unsettled again Tuesday through Thursday as bits and pieces of that awful flood storm in the South come up this way.
Family stranded on the roof of a flooded
house overnight in Louisiana. 

It's possible we'll get some locally heavy rain in and near Vermont later Tuesday, Tuesday night or Wednesday, which could cause some local water problems. But don't expect anything like Louisiana, that's for sure.

Besides, despite the rain we did get over the past couple of days, we could still use more, as long as it doesn' come down in torrential bursts.


The extreme flooding in Lousiana is beyond description. One town, Watson, got more than 30 inches of rain. There have been some entire years here in Vermont with less than 30 inches of precipitation.

Thousands of people have been evacuated, rivers are still rising, many exceeding record crests. Hundreds of residents were stranded on flooded Interstate 12 overnight. Many of these people are out of food and gasoline. Rescues are ongoing.  (Check out that dramatic rescue of a woman from a submerged car in my previous post.)

Still, a lot of people still need to get out. Twitter and Facebook are rife with photos of people stuck in attics, or families with children and dogs spending the night on their roof, still awaiting help.

Tragically, I think the death toll will rise above the current level of three because people have not bee able to get back into flooded areas to check on everybody yet.

By the way, this is the third major flood Louisiana has endured so far this year.


Even if the rain in Louisiana begins to taper off today, moisture streaming northward is threatening big new flooding in Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Ohio.

Some parts of this area are expected four to nine inches of additional rain, on top of heavy rains that started flooding in this region Saturday.

Meanwhile, in the big cities on the East Coast, incredible humidity is accompanying heat. High temperatures yesterday were in the mid and upper 90s there - quite hot, but not unprecedented. However, dew points, a way of defining the amount of moisture in the air, were near 80s degrees.

That translated to heat indexes in the 105 to 112 range. More of the same will happen today. 

I actually fear the real disaster might be these high heat indexes. It's been going on for three days now. People with pre-existing conditions, or the young, or the elderly, can die easily in such situations.

While heat waves are not as photogenic as destructive floods, they're deadlier. I bet more people will perish in the East Coast heat than in the southern and central United States floods.

The heat in the East will ease this week, but some of the heavy rain in the Midwest could make its way to the East Coast later in the week, causing some new flooding.

Here's an drone's eye view of one Louisiana town:

Here's a video of a guy walking around and inside his Youngsville, Louisiana house:

No comments:

Post a Comment