Severe weather wallops the South with flooding and hail

Norco, La. — The National Weather Service confirmed at least one tornado touched down Monday east of Raleigh, North Carolina. Homes were damaged and trees knocked down, but there were no serious injuries reported.

Severe weather Monday in Garner, North Carolina, brought golf-size hail that damaged cars and shattered windshields. The same system flooded New Orleans Saturday with two inches of rain an hour. Neighborhoods were flooded, public transportation halted and the city that sits below sea level had one of its 12 drainage pumps fail.

Louisiana flooding seen Mon., May 13, 2019. CBS News

Outside New Orleans, the Bonnet Carre Spillway has been opened in order to stop the mighty Mississippi River from overflowing levees and flooding New Orleans. Monday is the 200th day the Mississippi has been at flood stage in south Louisiana, where every other state’s excess water drains into the Gulf of Mexico.

“The Mississippi River, if it were to flow into the Superdome, it would fill the Superdome in about two or three minutes. So that’s how much water we are dealing with here. It’s really hard to fathom. It’s so much water,” said Col. Michael Clancy with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway is essentially a declaration that New Orleans is threatened and that we’ve made the decision.”

Bonnet Carre was constructed after the great Mississippi flood of 1927, which was the most destructive river flood in U.S. history and forced nearly 1,000,000 people from their homes.

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