By JOHN RENZI, AP Staff WriterLOUISIANA – An enormous lake in northeastern Louisiana that was forecast to reach a record-breaking level Wednesday was expected to rise into the hundreds of feet and could be deadly for some people.
The lake in western Louisiana, which is known as the St. Lawrence River, had been forecast to rise to 6 feet and drop into the water by late Wednesday afternoon.
It is forecast to remain at 6 feet until at least late Thursday, according to the National Weather Service in New Orleans.
John Bel Edwards said at a news conference that he ordered all public and private entities to avoid the area, warning of possible flooding in areas of the state with heavy rainfall.
The storm surge could reach 5 feet, Edwards said.
The storm surge is forecast in areas along the Mississippi River in Louisiana, including New Orleans and St. Charles counties.
A storm surge of 3 feet would be the second-highest in Louisiana.
The river is expected to crest the Gulf of Mexico sometime late Thursday morning, Edwards predicted.
The threat of flooding in Louisiana was also forecast for the Louisiana-Mississippi state line, a key stretch of the Mississippi from Baton Rouge to St. Bernard Parish, which lies near the St, Lawrence River.
Edwards said the river’s crest was predicted to reach 4 feet and its lower reaches of the St Lawrence River were expected to reach 5.
The area is located near the southern end of the Louisiana flood zone and has a population of about 3.4 million people.
Louisiana has more than 10.2 million residents, according a state data center.
The flooding is expected in the St., Lawrence River flood area near St. Francis, in northwest Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said.
It was not immediately clear how much flooding was expected on the Sts.
Lawrence and St Bernard rivers.
The National Weather Services forecast that Louisiana would have a peak water level of 4 feet on Thursday, with some areas expected to be flooded by Thursday afternoon, but the actual flood level could drop to less than 4 feet.
The National Weather Center says the St Louis River could crest at the St Bernard River in southwestern Louisiana by Thursday morning.
The hurricane center says the water levels along the Stl, St. Louis and St Lawrence rivers could reach 1,600 feet and 1,300 feet, respectively, in the upper reaches of each river.
A storm surge warning was in effect in St. Clair County, with high water along the lake and the river, and a 2-foot threat in the lower reaches.
The water levels in the Mississippi Gulf of Maine were forecast to surge from 2 feet to 5 feet.
The St. Mary’s River is forecast at 1,000 feet and the St Martin River at 1.2 feet.
Flooding and heavy rainfall were also expected in several other flood zones along the coast and in some other floodplains.