From 12–14 August 2016, Baton Rouge and surrounding areas were inundated with as much as 31 inches of rain that eventually made its way into the Amite River and tributaries. Throughout the following week, water overrode riverbanks and flooded nearby homes, some of which are still flooded nearly three weeks after the storm. Numerous media interviews continue after this flooding comprising individuals with expertise in hydrology, climatology, societal impacts, and many more.
Our own Professor Barry Keim and PhD Student Clay Tucker presented the recent climatological and hydrological happenings to members of the Press Club on Monday, August 29. They focused on impacts in East Baton Rouge Parish, but noted that this was a widespread storm and future research will delve into specifics throughout South Louisiana.
The storm was not given a name, but was certainly impactful. Two-day rainfall totals greatly exceeded the 1000-year rainfall (~21 inches). The Amite River gauge at Denham Springs rose more than five feet higher than the previous record of 41.5 feet! Water inundated houses in surrounding areas that had never flooded in the past and were never expected to flood in the future. Geographers and Anthropologists hold a special place in studying the physical event and human implications. Past problems, current recovery, and future projections require much of the expertise in our department!