Severe weather flooded much of the Baton Rouge area—and downtown in particular—this morning, submerging city streets and stranding commuters.
Downtown Baton Rouge was inundated with nearly five inches of rain, according to WAFB-TV, and several other areas have reported flooding as well. The Baton Rouge area remains under a flash flood warning until 11 a.m., WAFB reports.
“It’s pretty terrible,” says Nick Speyer, president of Emergent Method with offices downtown. “We probably have two-thirds of our employees working from home this morning. It’s scary how quickly the flooding happened.”
Sections of Convention Street downtown have seen heavy flooding, with Speyer saying he saw water rising up to the door handles of parking garages as he made his way to work.
North Boulevard is also heavily submerged between 7th and 9th streets, says Downtown Development District Executive Director Davis Rhorer, who adds he’s also getting calls about high water in nearby neighborhoods.
“The deluge has been citywide,” Rhorer says, “We’re getting all sorts of reports from the Garden District and Hundred Oaks. Cars are badly submerged. We’re in the mode right now of just checking on everything.”
Streets are also flooded in areas surrounding the LSU campus and a section of Lee Drive, near College Drive, is under several inches of water.
State lawmakers and staff have also not been able to get to the Capitol this morning, delaying the last day of the Legislative session as only a few legislators seem to have made it to work so far, according to the Senate secretary’s office.
The National Weather Service has reported that four to five inches of rainfall have affected East Baton Rouge Parish, according to the mayor’s office. Rainfall is also predicted for Friday. The Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is monitoring forecasts.
“Please do not drive through flooded waters as our community is experiencing widespread street flooding,” the mayor said in a statement. “Continue to monitor ‘Red Stick Ready,’ local weather TV and radio stations for updates on the current weather conditions.”