Claudette: A modest rainmaker she was

From the beginning it was billed as a storm that would be mainly a rainmaker with the inevitable street flooding in low-lying areas, and Biloxi’s brush with Tropical Storm Claudette has been just that.

Biloxi Emergency Manager Nick Geiser this afternoon reports that 14.99 inches of rain has fallen in Biloxi in the past 24 hours. The forecast had called for anywhere from 3 to 5 inches and up to 10 inches through Sunday.

After moving ashore in southeastern Louisiana early today, Claudette was centered about 80 miles north-northwest of Mobile, with sustained winds of 40 mph around 1 p.m., the National Hurricane Center said. Claudette could strengthen to a tropical storm as it neared the East Coast, forecasters said.

The rainfall in Biloxi, Geiser said, was coupled with modest tropical force winds that forced MDOT crews onto U.S. 90 this morning to move sand from driving lanes. The city had minimal road closures, Cedar Lake Road and the Popp’s Ferry Causeway among them. Business was never interrupted, although the City of Biloxi declared a State of Emergency Friday afternoon to be prepared for any eventuality.

Harrison County remains under a Tropical Storm Warning, a Coastal Flood Warning, and a Flash Flood Watch. 

Nearby rivers — the Biloxi, Wolf and Tchoutacabouffa — are expected to crest Sunday morning well above flood stage, with a Flood Warning remaining in effect.

The numbers today from the Harrison County Emergency Operations Center:

– Biloxi River: 14.3 feet at 9:45 a.m.; forecast to crest at 18 feet Sunday morning; flood stage is 12 feet.

– Wolf River: 7.9 feet at 9:45 a.m.; forecast to crest at 14 feet Sunday morning; flood stage is 8 feet.

– Tchoutacabouffa River: 8.8 feet at 9:30 a.m.; forecast to crest at 15.5 feet Sunday morning; flood stage is 8 feet.
See the latest on Claudette
See the Keesler rainfall amounts
See the links to real-time river stages
Facebook: Friday’s Biloxi A to Z