Floods in Louisiana

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Floods in Louisiana: A stationary depression

Persistent heavy rainfall in August 2016 in the US state of Louisiana led to major flooding. Entire stretches of land were left under water.

Record rainfall: It was the most serious natural catastrophe in the USA since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and produced a quantity of rain three times greater than Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The worst-affected areas were the south of Louisiana, including the state capital, Baton Rouge. Between 12 and 14 August, some places received the staggering amount of 650 litres/m2 of rain (Livingston). In addition to flash floods, many rivers burst their banks and 30,000 people had to be rescued from the floodwaters. At least 13 people were killed, and roughly 60,000 buildings destroyed. Some 100,000 people applied for emergency aid.

A scientific cause analysis estimated a return period of approximately 30 years for an event of this intensity within the central Gulf Coast region. According to the study, the probability of such an event has already increased by a factor of 1.4 compared to a model calculation without climate change.

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