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'50-year rain event' Storms flood streets in New Orleans metro area

There is a chance for strong storms and severe weather Friday. The Flash Flood Warning is in effect until 1:45 p.m.

NEW ORLEANS — A line of strong thunderstorms brought heavy rain that flooded streets and overwhelmed local pumping systems on Friday morning.

The National Weather Service in New Orleans issued a flash flood warning for parts of the southshore as several inches of rain fell across the New Orleans metro area. The rain gauge at University of New Orleans on the lakefront recorded more than seven inches of rain by 12 p.m.

A spokesperson for the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans said the rain outpaced its pumping capacity in New Orleans East. The City of New Orleans has lifted parking restrictions, allowing parking on neutral grounds until 6 p.m. on Friday evening.

Drainage crews in Jefferson Parish faced similar issues, telling WWL-TV that the parish's drainage system was "overwhelmed" for a few hours by a "50-year rain event."

Several cars were stranded in the middle of South Service Road West near Severn as traffic backed up on the interstate heading into New Orleans. Drainage Director Ben Lepine reported rain totals of 3.5 inches per hour or more at several spots in the eastern part of the parish’s East Bank.

NWS forecasters say many areas picked up four inches of rain with additional heavy rains possible. Several cars were stranded in the middle of South Service Road West near Severn as traffic backed up on the interstate heading into New Orleans.

Entergy Louisiana has also reported power outages during Friday's storms. More than 7,500 customers were without power at one point in Jefferson Parish, mostly in the Kenner area. Another 650 customers were without power in Orleans Parish.

Another round of storms will roll into the region through the afternoon/early evening hours form the north. With hot temperatures and humidity the storms will have plenty of fuel, so the severe weather risk is at a level 3 north of the lake and level 2 south of the lake.

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