The passage of Hurricane Gustav from south central to northwest Louisiana caused major damage and impact to our region, particularly to southwest Mississippi and northeast Louisiana, where wind damage and flooding was widespread.
As of (9/9/08), 26 tornadoes had been confirmed across the Ark-La-Miss region based on emergency management reports and NWS storm surveys. All these tornadoes occurred during a 3 day span (Mon 9/1 through Wed 9/3).
The weather instrumentation at the Natchez airport failed before the strongest winds reached the area, but an anemometer at the Natchez Adams EOC recorded wind gusts of at least 60 mph Monday evening (9/1/08). Damage was extensive in the area around Natchez as the eye of Gustav moved just to the southwest of the area. Power was lost to all of Adams County and Catahoula and Concordia Parishes, and extensive tree and power infrastructure damage occurred in the nearby counties and parishes of northeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi.
Outside of this area winds were less, although tropical storm force gusts were recorded at Vicksburg, Hattiesburg and Jackson. Some scattered downed trees and power outages occurred in these areas, but were not as widespread or as significant as areas to the southwest.
Extensive flooding of urban areas, small streams, and low lying areas occurred across much of southern Mississippi, northeast Louisiana, and southeast Arkansas. Extreme rainfall amounts occurred in parts of southwest Mississippi and east central Louisiana, where there were several reports of rainfall in excess of fifteen inches. Another axis of excessive rainfall extended from southeast and east central Mississippi from the Pine Belt region up to west of Meridian. Significant flash flooding also occurred in these areas. The highest radar estimated rainfall total of 24.1 inches occurred between Serena and Glade, Louisiana, in southern Catahoula Parish.
Click here for an image of area rainfall totals.