- Associated Press - Friday, March 11, 2016

BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) - The Latest on severe weather in the U.S. (all times local):

4:10 p.m. CST

An electric utility is disconnecting power to customers in the Caddo Lake area on the Texas-Louisiana border as water levels in the lake surpass National Weather Service projections.

The Panola-Harrison Electric Co-Op announced it would suspend service to areas along Big Cypress Bayou to avoid short circuits and power-line arcs that could spark fires.

Harrison County officials in Marshall, Texas, have appealed to Caddo Lake area residents to heed a mandatory evacuation notice issued Wednesday because floodwaters are isolating some areas, cutting access by emergency personnel.



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3 p.m. CST

Officials in Louisiana parishes north of New Orleans are reporting more rain-related problems.

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards said Friday that close to 50 roads were closed due to high water.

He estimated 300 to 400 evacuees in his parish alone, many in neighborhoods that have never flooded.

Flash flood waters in many populated areas appeared to be receding by Friday afternoon, although more rain could change that.

In St. Tammany Parish just to the east of Tangipahoa, officials said levels in three local rivers were reaching historic levels and would continue to rise. They are encouraging people in homes nearby to decide before dark whether to evacuate.

Louisiana has been lashed with storms this week that first dumped rain the state’s northwest before hammering some areas in the southeast.

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1 p.m. CST

A rescue crew has evacuated 10 people from four Tennessee homes that were surrounded by floodwaters from an overflowing river.

Rescuers used an amphibious vehicle to maneuver through a neighborhood swamped by water from the swollen Loosahatchie River on Friday. Among those rescued was an 87-year-old man with a health issue.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mickey Keaton said none of the houses had water in them. But the roads leading to the homes were flooded, trapping residents.

The National Weather Service says 3 to 10 inches of rain has fallen in parts of West Tennessee, north Mississippi and eastern Arkansas since late Tuesday. Flood warnings are in effect as forecasters predict 1 to 3 more inches of rain could fall in the area this weekend.

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12 p.m. CST

Floodwaters are rising on the Alabama coast as torrential rains move in from Louisiana.

Police said water was beginning to cover roads on the west tip of Dauphin Island, a narrow, 17-mile-long barrier island dotted with beach homes built on stilts. Main roads were still passable around midday Friday but may not be for long, police said.

Flooding also is occurring around a historic brick fort that was used to guard the mouth of Mobile Bay during the Civil War, police said, and waves were bashing into the rocky bed of the causeway that connects the island with the mainland. The island’s 1,300 residents could be temporarily cut off if bay waters get too high.

The National Weather Service predicted nearly 6 inches of rain could fall by early Sunday along the Alabama coast. Forecasters issued a flood warning for the region, and the weather service warned boaters to stay inshore because of gale-force winds blowing to about 40 mph.

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12:55 p.m. EST

Storms that have swamped Louisiana with torrential rain are moving eastward toward Alabama, with weather officials saying flooding is possible around Mobile Bay and warning that spring breakers need to be careful in the roiling Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service predicted Friday that nearly 6 inches of rain could fall by early Sunday around Mobile, Alabama, where downtown streets often flood during tropical deluges. Water already was rising in the fishing communities and boatyards south of the city.

Across Mobile Bay in the coastal tourist towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, thousands of college students have converged for spring break. There, forecasters warned of potentially deadly surf conditions.

Forecasters posted a warning for rip currents, which can quickly pull swimmers out to deep water, and said waves could reach 7 feet in height.

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11:45 a.m.

After a night of heavy rains, authorities say swollen rivers and creeks in rural Washington Parish in southeastern Louisiana have led to widespread flooding, prompting rescues from scores of homes.

Mike Haley, a chief deputy for the parish’s sheriff, says dozens of homes have been flooded in the parish, which is bounded by the Pearl River and the Bogue Chitto (BOH’-guh CHAT’uh) River.

He says the Coast Guard has sent a helicopter from New Orleans to rescue someone who was trapped on a roof in Varnado (VAR’-nuh-doe), a small town north of Bogalusa. He had no details about who the person was.

Haley says they’ve done rescues all over the parish. He says there were no reports of serious injuries or deaths.

Haley says the flooding is worse than what the parish saw during Hurricane Isaac in 2012.

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10:30 a.m.

Dozens of evacuees at a shelter in southeast Louisiana are awaiting rides from friends or relatives or are bedded down on cots that lined the walls of the school gym. They arrived with backpacks or small shoulder bags or plastic garbage bags stuffed with belongings.

Outside Natalbany Middle School in Tangipahoa Parish, 37-year-old Thaddeus Jackson and his wife, 35-year-old Joann Mills, stood waiting for a ride. They had been evacuated from their Hammond home early Friday. Mills said the water was waste deep outside their apartment.

Jackson said water was already entering the two story apartment when he arrived home at around 2:30 a.m. He said he did what he could to protect his furniture, then went to sleep upstairs with his wife and two children.

He said when he woke up Friday, rescuers were banging on the door, telling them to get out. He said they were evacuated through the high water in military-style trucks.

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8:40 a.m.

Storms that have swamped Louisiana with torrential rain are moving eastward toward Alabama, with weather officials saying flooding is possible around Mobile Bay and warning that spring breakers need to be careful in the roiling Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service predicted Friday that nearly 6 inches of rain could fall by early Sunday around Mobile, Alabama, where downtown streets often flood during tropical deluges. Water already is rising in the fishing communities and boatyards south of the city.

Across Mobile Bay in the coastal tourist towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, thousands of college students have converged for spring break. There, forecasters warned of potentially deadly surf conditions.

Forecasters posted a warning for rip currents, which can quickly pull swimmers out to deep water, and said waves could reach 7 feet in height - unusually large for the northern Gulf Coast. Beach erosion and flooding is also possible.

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7:45 a.m.

High water rescues are underway in Tangipahoa (tan-ji-puh-HOH’) Parish.

Parish President Robby Miller says a total of 200 people have been removed from their homes east of Hammond and in the Loranger area northeast of Hammond.

Miller says they’re getting calls from all over the parish of high water and homes threatened.

He says 60 parish roads are now blocked by high water and that number is growing.

Shelters have been set up at an elementary school in Natabany north of Hammond and at Loranger High School.

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6:50 a.m.

It’s another wet day across northern Louisiana.

Meteorologist Patrick Omundson in Shreveport says rain continues to fall over portions of north central Louisiana bringing an addition inch to portions of Grant, LaSalle and Winn parishes.

He says most of the heavy rain remains over the Monroe area in northeast Louisiana.

Omundson says a section of Interstate 20 east of Bossier City remains closed and a portion of I-49 is closed south of Shreveport. He says Wallace Lake is overflowing, sending its water west to the interstate.

At the weather service office, Omundson say 11 inches have fallen, but he has reports of up to 20 inches in some areas from Shreveport to Monroe.

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6:15 a.m.

All of southeast Louisiana remains under a flash flood watch as bands of heavy rain move over the area.

National Weather Service forecaster Andrew Ansorge in Slidell says a line of heavy rain moved north over the New Orleans metro area Friday morning and more is expected.

Ansorge says an area north of the Interstate 12 and west Interstate 55 is seeing the most rain.

He says Tangipahoa Parish is seeing flash flooding and high water rescues are underway in the Hammond and Loranger area. He says up to 10 inches has fallen in the Bogalusa area of Washington Parish.

Ansorge says the heavy rain will continue Friday and get lighter Saturday. Sunday will be a much better day.

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3 a.m.

Record-setting flooding in northern Louisiana prompted numerous high-water rescues of stranded families and animals and officials said some levees could overflow Friday.

If weather permits Friday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards planned to tour Shreveport and Bossier City and Monroe.

Edwards late Thursday issued a statewide declaration of emergency in light of the severe weather that’s already hit those areas and predictions of more rain.

Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Lt. Bill Davis said two more subdivisions in south Bossier City and the area immediately around and next to Louisiana Downs racetrack were now under a mandatory evacuation.

Davis said Red Chute Bayou above Interstate 20 was still rising, and officials anticipate the levees will likely overtop by Friday morning.

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