Tropical Storm Cristobal could make landfall on the Louisiana coast south of Franklin by mid-day Sunday
Tropical Storm Cristobal could make landfall on the Louisiana coast south of Franklin by mid-day Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm has packing winds of 65 mph, heavy rains and some storm surge, according to a 10 a.m. forecast by the center.
This could result in up to 15 inches of rain and coastal storm surge heights of 6 feet above ground level in some locations in southeastern Louisiana, according to the Slidell office of the National Weather Service.
The exact location of landfall and actual strength of the storm are still uncertain, reported the New Orleans Advocate. Cristobal has already caused severe flooding in areas of Mexico and Central America. The storm is expected to dump more than 2 feet of rain on parts of Mexico by Friday night, added the National Weather Service.
"Now that the center of circulation has moved inland, a gradual weakening trend should commence," said Senior Hurricane Specialist Richard Pasch. "However, the large circulation will take some time to spin down," he said.
What's left will move back north over the Gulf by Friday evening, reported the New Orleans Advocate, and will begin its return to tropical storm strength. Locations east of the storm expect landfall, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as heavy rains, high winds, and coastal flooding.
The National Weather Service in Slidell issued a flood watch through 7 a.m. Sunday for all of southeastern Louisiana and the Mississippi coast, since widespread rainfall rates of 2 to 4 inches an hour are possible.
According to Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, a surge from Cristobal will cause a 2 foot rise in the Mississippi River at the Carrollton Gauge in New Orleans, to 16 feet. Levees and floodwalls in the city protect from water heights of between 22 and 25 feet, however, and the Army Corps of Engineers said they plan on using sandbags or Hesco baskets to improve protection there, if it is necessary.