BATON ROUGE, La. — Rush hour flash flooding and possible tornadoes that hit the Baton Rouge area Thursday morning were blamed for one death — a man who died after being rescued from a car on a flooded street — as well as numerous closed roads, stalled vehicles and a delay in the start of the final day of Louisiana’s 2019 legislative session.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said some areas of East Baton Rouge Parish received 5 inches (13 centimeters) of rain early Thursday. And roughly 3.5 inches (9 centimeters) fell in less than an hour during rush hour.
She opened a morning news conference with a moment of silence for an unidentified victim whose death was attributed to the weather. Fire Chief Ed Smith said emergency medical workers were unable to save the life of the man after he was removed from a car in a flooded area. No other details were immediately available.
News outlets reported that wind damage in the Central community of East Baton Rouge Parish and in the city limits of Baton Rouge were caused by possible tornadoes. Another possible tornado was reported in the Convent area of St. James Parish. And parts of the New Orleans area were under a tornado warning as a possible twister moved over the area shortly after noon.
New Orleans officials said anywhere from 2 to 6 inches (5 to 15 centimeters) of rain was expected in the New Orleans area through Friday, with the greatest rain threat expected Thursday.
Flooded streets made it difficult for state lawmakers to get to the Capitol to put final touches on the state’s $30 billion operating budget for 2019-20120. Both the House and Senate convened late. They faced a 6 p.m. deadline for ending the 60-day session.