NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana may have a day or two of sun after the storms that swamped the state, but rivers and streams will still be high and the ground will still be soggy when the next round of rain hits over the weekend, forecasters said.
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Storms probably will start late Saturday in north Louisiana and work southward through the state Sunday and Sunday night, said Christopher Bannan, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Slidell, north of New Orleans.
"The next one doesn't seem to be nearly as potent" as those Wednesday and Thursday, Bannan said.
The slow-moving midweek system dumped nearly a foot of rain in some areas, filling streets, swelling rivers and prompting Gov. Bobby Jindal to call a statewide emergency so Louisiana can use state money to help local governments recover from storm damage and prepare for more bad weather.
No injuries were reported, though authorities suspect a tornado may have been the cause of damage at an industrial plant near Baton Rouge.
Eunice, in Cajun country, got nearly 11.2 inches of rain over the 24 hours ending at 7 a.m. Thursday. Iowa, near Lake Charles, got 9.7 inches and Crowley 9.35 inches. Grand Chenier, Jennings, Bunkie, Opelousas, Alexandria, Dry Creek, Alexandria, Elmer, and Lake Charles all reported between 5.6 and 8.75 inches.
"I need my little floaties, honey, my little waders," said Iowa Mayor Carol Ponthieux. She said water got into perhaps a dozen houses on two streets in a fairly new subdivision and rain water seeped into sewers so that scores of households couldn't flush their toilets.
"We've got to pray the good Lord doesn't send us any more rain," she said.
Mike Marcotte, a weather service meteorologist in Lake Charles, said people can expect a day or two of sun.
"Friday definitely looks like a pretty good day. Saturday there's a little chance of a few showers. But it will still be very warm," he said.
Even without the expected rain, "the larger rivers and bayous will continue to rise for at least the next couple of days. It's not going to be a good week" in southwest Louisiana, said weather service hydrologist Jonathan Brazzell in Lake Charles. However, he said that's likely to affect mostly streets along the river, where most homes are built up high enough to avoid flooding.
Minor flooding also was reported and predicted in southeast Louisiana.
The Louisiana National Guard sent 50,000 empty sandbags to Livingston Parish, near Baton Rouge, and a high-water truck and two soldiers each to Marksville, 75 miles northwest of the state capital, and Crowley, about 70 miles south-southwest of Marksville.
Residents of about 10 houses in Crowley asked for help and more than 20 homes took on water — mostly from the wakes raised by tractor-trailers, Mayor Greg Jones said. Avoyelles Parish 911 director Donald Milligan said people in two vehicles near Marksville and a house in Mansura called for help.
Eunice Mayor Claud "Rusty" Moody said some houses and about 10 to 15 apartments in one complex flooded.
In the south, Ascension, St. James, St. John and Livingston parishes reported widespread street flooding, with minor street flooding in several other locations, said meteorologist Danielle Manning.