Flood threat lingers for truckers in Deep South

Tractor-trailers heading down a highway in the rain.

It’s been a wet week across much of the Deep South and parts of the Gulf Coast, with more rain to come.

New Orleans had a daily record rainfall Tuesday of 3.71 inches, along with a peak wind gust of 56 mph, as strong to severe thunderstorms slammed the region. Flash flooding hit southern Louisiana, and weather likely had a lot to do with a commercial vessel capsizing off the Louisiana coast Tuesday.

Related: News alert: Coast Guard searching for crew of capsized commercial vessel

The Coast Guard and Good Samaritans have rescued six crew members, and they are searching for 12 more after the Seacor Power capsized in severe winds and rough waters. The search teams have recovered one body.

Conditions were less severe Wednesday, but heavy rain early Thursday morning was soaking these areas again, as well as southern parts of Mississippi and Alabama. The National Weather Service (NWS) has flash flood watches posted until noon CT Thursday along the Interstate 10 corridor, from Lake Charles, Louisiana to Mobile, Alabama. This means flash flooding is possible. Portions of Interstates 55 and 59 are included in the watch.

Rain chances will fade later Thursday but are forecast to return this weekend. Additional rain totals of at least 2 to 3 inches are likely Friday through Saturday, and the NWS may issue new flash flood watches. Drivers may run into torrential downpours that could force them to pull over. Flash flooding could lead to ramp and road closures. Thunderstorms could produce wind gusts exceeding 50 mph in a few spots.

Other notable weather

Look for more heavy snow Thursday and Thursday night in parts of the Rockies and central Plains, impacting travel on parts of Interstates 25, 70 and 80 in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.

Related: States with the strictest chain laws

Heavy snow will also hit portions of New England Thursday night and Friday, mainly north of Interstate 90. Totals of 5 to 10 inches could pile up from western Massachusetts to Vermont, New Hampshire and southern Maine.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

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