- Another very wet day is forecast on Wednesday across the South.
- Flash flooding will also be a concern once again due to the saturated ground.
- Birmingham has already picked up almost 8 inches of rain this month, which is about five times the average.
Heavy downpours Monday led to flooded roads, closed schools and rising rivers across the Deep South on Tuesday, and more drenching rain is on the way.
After a respite from the rain Tuesday, another wet day is forecast Wednesday across the South.
“With soils near saturation and more rain on the way, widespread flooding concerns will persist across the Gulf states and into the Appalachian region,” the National Weather Service said.
The next round of heavy rain will fall across the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee valleys Wednesday. Additional rainfall of 1 to 3 inches will be possible from
northeast Texas to western Tennessee, the weather service said.
Flash flooding will be a concern once again because of saturated ground and swollen streams and rivers. The weather service said minor to moderate flooding is expected from central Mississippi to north Georgia after downpours.
“At this time, all hazards that come along with thunderstorms are possible, including hail, damaging straight-line winds, isolated tornadoes and flash flooding,” AccuWeather meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.
States most at risk of severe weather Wednesday include Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama, the Storm Prediction Center said.
Jackson, Mississippi; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and even cities as far north as Nashville, Tennessee; may have to deal with damaging thunderstorms Wednesday, AccuWeather warned.
Monday’s rain was still causing problems across the region: Schools opened late or closed Tuesday in parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana because of flash flooding.
There were more than 80 reports of flooding across the South in the 24 hours ending at 5 a.m. EST Tuesday, from northern Louisiana to northern Georgia, the Weather Channel said.
Roads were covered with water or washed out because of rainfall that exceeded 5 inches in spots across central Alabama.
The Tennessee Valley region has received 550% of its normal rainfall during the past seven days, said James Everett, senior manager of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s River Forecast Center.
Birmingham has picked up almost 8 inches of rain this month, which is about five times the average, the weather service said.
In eastern Mississippi, officials in Starkville said the water at Oktibbeha County Lake once again reached a critical level weeks after heavy rains caused a mudslide that put an earthen dam in danger of failing.
Pumps have been used to lower the lake level by about 8 feet since mid-January, the Starkville Daily News reported, but the water rose again because of storms.
“I am concerned with the amount of rainfall we are expected to receive this week, we could possibly exceed the level where we were in January,” said a statement by Kristen Campanella, emergency management director in Oktibbeha County.
Elsewhere in the state, 25 homes were damaged and four people were hurt in wrecks caused by vehicles hydroplaning on wet roads, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. The most damage was in Yazoo, where a dozen people were displaced from their homes.
Contributing: The Associated Press