Rain from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey will be headed to the Ark-La-Tex no later than Thursday, weather officials say.
National Weather Service Hydrologist C.S. Ross said Webster Parish could expect to see 2 and a half to 5 inches of rain Thursday afternoon as the system makes its way up to southeast Arkansas. He said Lufkin, Texas could see upwards of 1 foot of rain before it hits northwest Louisiana.
As of Monday afternoon, Hurricane Harvey was making its way back across the southeast portion of the Gulf of Mexico, which will result in some “slight” re-strengthening of the weather system, he said.
“It is expected to make its second landfall near Galveston Wednesday, and will move up across deep east Texas Thursday,” he said. “It is forecasted to move up to southeast Arkansas by Friday morning.”
Harvey has already dumped about 20 inches of rain on parts of southeast Texas since last Thursday, weather officials said. Webster Parish, along with the rest of northwest Louisiana, is under a flood warning for the remainder of the week.
Ross said the forecast for the rest of the week calls for below normal highs in the 80s, with lows in the lower 70s. The average temperature in August is about 92 with lows in the 70s, he said.
Rain chances increase through the rest of the week, from 30 percent Tuesday, to 80 percent Thursday afternoon. The decrease begins Friday with a 50 percent chance of rain.
“It will certainly go down as one of our wettest Augusts in quite a while,” he said. “August and September are normally our driest months of the year.”
Mayor Tommy Davis said the city will have sandbags on hand for citizens inside the city limits if flash flooding were to occur in the area.
“We do have some sandbags, but we’re still trying to figure out what it’s going to do,” he said. “We’ll be ready for whatever happens Thursday.”
Sandbags for citizens located inside the city limits will be at the Street Department on Talton Street.
Jenny Reynolds, director of the Webster Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said as of Monday, they don’t anticipate flash flooding for the area, however if the track for Harvey changes toward northwest Louisiana, they will open the road barns to the public.
“We have our stock of sandbags ready,” she said. “We would see more rain in our forecast if Harvey’s track adjusts toward the west, which means we would be on the east side of the storm. If the forecast changes and we see a large amount of rain in a short time, we would open the parish barn to the public.”
There is a parish barn in Sarepta on Highway 2, and one in Sibley, off Penal Farm Road.
Reynolds said updates will be posted on social media, their website as well as through media outlets throughout the area.