The Midwest is reportedly facing serious flash flood threats this week, as another heavy storm system bears down on the region.
The National Weather Service has issued official flash flood watches across large swaths of the country, according to Weather.com. Parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are all in the danger zone, and some parts of those states have flash flood warnings as well.
The Midwest has already been hit with heavy rainfall, and experts believe more is on the way. In some places, as much as 18 inches of rainfall is on its way, and flooding is all but guaranteed there.
If that were not enough, a tornado watch is in effect in northern Iowa, parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. The combination could be deadly, and experts are calling on residents there to restrict travel and prepare to shelter in place. In the case of either a flood or tornado, they reccomend finding the most interior room of a building.
Flash floods in Wisconsin have already forced the evacuation of an apartment complex this week. Water reached all the way up to the first floor of the building, forcing people out of their homes. There were also rescues underway in Nebraska on Tuesday morning. As the excess water finds its way into tributaries, experts warn of delayed river flooding in surrounding areas.
All of this is happening amid the chaos of Tropical Storm Gordon, which is expected to become a hurricane within the next 24 hours. The National Weather Service estimates that tropical-storm-force winds will reach the Gulf Coast on Tuesday evening, forcing their way inland until Thursday night.0comments
The storm system is headed directly for New Orleans, a city that knows exactly how dangerous a hurricane can be. It will also hit parts of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. Much of the Gulf of Mexico is under a hurricane watch, and in some cases a hurricane warning.
So far, there has been little talk of evacuations on the coast, though a total of 54 oil and gas production platforms in the Gulf have been evacuated, according to a report by NOLA. The Federal Bureau of Saefy and Environmental Enforcement determined that the risk of floods and high winds made it too dangerous to stay on the water. Hundreds of other manned platforms are in "shut-in" conditions, with their workers sheltering in place