Western Louisiana in crosshairs as Tropical Storm Harvey moves back to land

Western Louisiana residents braced for more wind and water early Wednesday as Tropical Storm Harvey made its second landfall after dumping record rainfall on Texas.

The storm came ashore just west of Cameron, Louisiana, bringing maximum sustained winds near 45 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Harvey had lingered over Texas for days before meandering back into the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters said there was a risk of tornadoes across a large part of the South as Harvey trudged northeast toward northern Louisiana. The national Storm Prediction Center said a few tornadoes were expected to develop Wednesday in northeast Louisiana and across southern and central portions of Mississippi. Tornadoes would also be possible across parts of southern and central Alabama, near the eastern edge of Harvey’s rain bands.

Another 5 to 10 inches of rain could fall in western Louisiana, forecasters said.

“We are starting to get down to the end of the tunnel of all this rain,” Meteorologist Roger Erickson said.

Erickson warns that some coastal rivers won’t be able to drain effectively because Harvey’s winds are pushing in storm surge, aggravating flooding in areas already drenched by more than 20 inches of rain. Gusts up to 50 mph are predicted for coastal areas and up to 40 mph (65 kph) in Lake Charles and along the Interstate 10 corridor.

Cameron Parish’s Office of Emergency Preparedness said a curfew was in effect until the threat had passed and checkpoints have been set up at entry points into evacuated areas.

State offices in 28 parishes and most Baton Rouge area schools won’t open Wednesday in anticipation of possible severe weather. Gov. John Bel Edwards urged people to remain alert but said the state is responding well to less severe conditions in its own borders.

“You never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at us, but with the people in this room, I’m confident we…

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