Rain nears 100 inches this year

A tree lays across Z McDaniel Road in Kentwood after falling on Sunday. A total of four trees fell across streets in Tangipahoa Parish this past weekend. Parish President Robby Miller says that workers were able to clear the tree across Z McDaniel Road in less than two hours after being notified about it.

Nearly 60 inches of rain have fallen in the Hammond area over the past two months.

The National Weather Service reported a total of 37.55 inches of rain recorded in the Hammond area from Jan. 1 through early-May. A little over two months later, that number has more than doubled, superseding the average year’s rainfall for the area with a little over five months left to go this year.

“Hammond is currently sitting at 97.5 inches of rain so far this year, which is crazy,” said Dr. Jeb Fields, assistant research coordinator at Hammond LSU Ag research center.

The 10-year average is 65 inches per year in the state and 87.2 inches per year in Hammond, he said.

June in particular was incredibly wet with 25.5 inches of rain during that month alone, he said.

“One of the wettest years we’ve had in a long time, probably since 2016,” he said.

The National Weather Service forecasts more rain for Tangipahoa Parish all week with an average of 3-5 inches.

Ground saturation is in the mid-90s percentile, which is definitely more than it typically is for any time of the year, said meteorologist Gavin Phillips with the National Weather Service.

With the ground so soggy, trees have uprooted and fallen over. Parish President Robby Miller said four trees fell across roads over the past weekend. Parish workers cleared the trees that fell across Highway 1059 in Roseland, Straughan Nursery Road in Loranger, Fred Clark Road in Hammond and Z McDaniel Road in Kentwood

On occasion over the past couple weeks, some low roads have flooded but the high water has usually subsided by the time workers could get there to place high water warnings – meaning drainage is working well, Miller said.

“We are getting a lot of rain in a short amount of time, which will fill up a ditch very quickly,” he said.

Staff with the mosquito district are being as active as possible, he said.

Assistant Director Colby Colona said Tangipahoa Mosquito Abatement District #1 has seen a significant increase in mosquitoes compared to this time last year, but there have been no reported diseases from mosquitoes this year.

“Rain every single day keeping the ground saturated makes it difficult for us to stay on top of all our problem areas,” she said.

Three aerial sprays were completed last week over the really high mosquito populations, which are determined by mosquito counts, she said.

Colona advises residents to wear light, loose-fitting clothing and repellant with at least 20 percent DEET.

Any standing water in flower pots, bird baths, toys and tires should be dumped out because it does not take much water for mosquitoes to lay eggs, she said.

“Like everyone is noticing, the ground is staying wet. It’s becoming more and more difficult to mow lawn and do any kind of activity outdoors,” Fields said.

He advises residents to take advantage of nice days between the rainy ones to get their lawns mowed while they have the chance. Maintaining the lawn will help keep mosquitos down.

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