Almost all La under flash flood watch; fog hits metro N.O. - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Almost all La under flash flood watch; fog hits metro N.O.

Residents in the town of Central cope with floodwaters (WBRZ) Residents in the town of Central cope with floodwaters (WBRZ)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The National Weather Service declared a flash flood watch Wednesday across most of Louisiana as two days of drenching rain forced the closure of schools in at least five parishes and some local governments were handing out sandbags.

Heavy rain was expected to continue into Thursday, as a strong storm system moving northeast from Mexico pushes moist air into the lower Mississippi Valley.

Schools were closed Wednesday or dismissed classes early in St. Mary, St. Helena, Vermilion, Iberia and St. Martin parishes, The Advocate reported. Those in St. Mary Parish, near the coast, and St. Helena Parish, about 85 miles north, were to remain closed Thursday, officials said.

Tangipahoa, Lafourche and St. Landry parishes were among those providing sandbags.

Starting Tuesday, 2 to 6 inches of rain had fallen from southwest Louisiana up into the Baton Rouge area, according to the National Weather Service. Franklin got 5.6 inches and Gonzales 6 inches.

Another 3 to 4 inches of rain were possible Thursday in some locations. It was forecast to move north and east into the central Mississippi Valley on Thursday and into the Ohio Valley by Friday evening.

Storms dumped about 3.5 inches of rain on Morgan City, 3.7 inches in New Iberia and 2.5 inches in Lafayette on Tuesday, meteorologist Montra Lockwood said. Southwest and central south Louisiana got a respite Wednesday, but another heavy round of rain was likely Wednesday night and Thursday morning, she said.

"There's really not going to be anywhere for the water to go," she said. "It's just going to run off."

That could mean street flooding and increased flood warnings for the Vermilion River from Lafayette into Carencro, she said.

In Slidell, weather service meteorologist Frank Revitte said an area from the greater Baton Rouge area south-southwest to the coast got 2 to 4 inches of rain Tuesday night and Wednesday, closing roads in Ascension and Livingston parishes. The New Orleans area and the rest of southeast Louisiana was added to the flood watch area Wednesday.

"We are expecting another round of showers and thunderstorms" late Wednesday and during the day Thursday, Revitte said.

The Amite, Comite and a few other northshore rivers were "in minor flood," he said. "We're monitoring those."

Northwest Louisiana saw rain pick up Wednesday afternoon, weather service meteorologist Matt Hemingway said.

"Most of the rain that's fallen so far has been light, so it's had a chance to soak in," he said. "With the heavier rain that's coming, that becomes a bit more of a concern."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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