Tropical Storm Cristobal on early Sunday evening (local time) made landfall in southeast Louisiana between the mouth of the Mississippi River and Grand Isle, CNN reported citing data from the National Hurricane Center.
With maximum sustained winds near 50 mph, Cristobal is expected to move north at about 7 mph, the Center said. It should become a tropical depression within 24 hours and will continue to dump heavy rain that could lead to flash flooding, mainly across the Mississippi River Valley in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.
Life-threatening storm surges could occur in parts of Mississippi and Louisiana. Storm surges occur when rising water moves inland from the coast, potentially causing injury and damage to property.
“Just because this is a tropical storm doesn’t mean that we want to let our guard down,” CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said.
“A storm surge is a major threat, and it’s the number one killer in tropical storms like this,” Dam added.
New Orleans issued a voluntary evacuation order on Sunday afternoon as well for areas outside the levee system.
As per the Hurricane Center, the impacts from the third named storm of a busy Atlantic hurricane season will be felt hundreds of miles away. Neighbouring states to the east such as Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, even the Carolinas will pick up several inches of rain in a short period of time which could trigger flash flooding.
Widespread rainfall along the coast will likely be in the 5-10 inch range, with some areas picking up at least a foot total. This will exacerbate the flooding concern for states like Louisiana, Arkansas, and Florida, which have already received at least 8-10 inches in just the last 30 days, the Center said.
Another concern for a severe weather condition is tornadoes and water spouts — funnel-shaped clouds over water — which have already been reported in the southeast.
“We’re seeing not just the significant storm surge, but tornadoes,” CNN Meteorologist Tom Sater said.
“Numerous water spouts have been making their way over toward land,” he added.
In Florida Saturday there were seven tornado reports, including one that hit near downtown Orlando. At least three homes were significantly impacted by storm activity, according to a city spokesperson.
According to some media reports, coronavirus testing events that had been scheduled for Monday in Jackson have been cancelled owning to the approaching storm.
Asian News International