Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
The threat of large amounts of rainfall was finally realized Wednesday afternoon with minor street flooding and flash flood warnings being issued.
Two days of rain finally led to reports of street flooding in Vidor and Bridge City and also led one school district to adjust its daily school schedule on Thursday.
Todd Mogged of the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, La. said Orange received approximately 2.85 inches of rain through 6 p.m., Wednesday, while the Jack Brooks Regional Airport in Beaumont received 3.36 inches through the same time period.
Mogged said an additional one to three-inches of rain was expected in Orange County late Wednesday into Thursday morning, mostly due to another round of storms. Southwest Louisiana was expected to receive an additional two to five-inches of rain during the same period.
The forecast for Thursday included a 40 percent of rain in the morning, and then decreasing to a 30 percent chance Thursday evening. There’s a 20 percent chance of rain Friday, and then it begins to increase from there with 30 percent chance Saturday day and 40 percent Saturday night.
Mogged said rain was in the forecast all the way through next Wednesday, Jan. 16.
“That is still a ways out, so it’s really hard to know how much we’ll get,” Mogged explained. “Only time will tell.”
As the rain continued into the late afternoon, street flooding began to become an issue for several communities.
Jerry Jones, city manager of Bridge City, said several reports of street flooding had been received after 4:30 p.m., Wednesday. These include streets in the Dugas area and off of Rachal, among others. Bridge City was reported to have received approximately four inches of rain by 4 p.m., Wednesday.
“A lot of streets have been reported flooded and we have people out putting up barricades,” Jones said. “The rain is just not running off quick enough, but the ground is so saturated it has nowhere to go. These are streets that we know typically flood anyway when we get heavy rains.”
According to Harry Vine, Pinehurst Code Enforcement Officer, only slight street flooding was being reported in Pinehurst at the height of the downpour.
“There is some street flooding but its just a few inches, none that is impassible,” Vine said. “I am not aware of anyone flooding at this point in time.”
Vine said at approximately 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, there was some flooding at intersection 33rd Street and Park and also on 35th Street, but none that was impassible.
“I think (the rain) slacked off just in time,” he added.
The Vidor Police Department also reported minor street flooding, including all of the streets behind Market Basket, which includes Lamar, Travis, Slagle and Jackson, as well as Orange Street in front of Vidor High School and corner of North Tram and East Tram.
Vidor received approximately 3.7 inches of rain through 6 p.m., Wednesday, according to one report.
The Vidor Independent School District announced it would be starting classes later than usual this morning. Classes will start at 8:15 a.m. for students of Vidor Elementary, Oak Forest and Pine Forest Elementary, while classes at Vidor Middle School, Vidor Junior High and Vidor High School will begin at 9:15 a.m., Thursday. Buses will run approximately one hour later than usual. Office staff will be in place on all campuses at usual time.
All other school districts in Orange County — West Orange-Cove CISD, Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD, Orangefield IS, Bridge City ISD — will remain on normal daily schedules.
Dawn Burleigh of The Orange Leader contributed to this story.