Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
Calls for rain have been answered, and then some, and now Orange County is ready for a dry spell.
Heavy rainfall continues to be an ongoing issue in Orange County as the area has received several inches of rain in recent days, according to the National Weather Service of Lake Charles, La. On Friday, it was enough to cancel the Orange Lions Club Carnival for the night.
“The grounds are just saturated, and (Friday’s) rainfall didn’t help,” said Chris Kovatch, carnival chairperson. “The downpour made it look like we had a river running through the center of the park, so we decided it was better for us to cancel the carnival on Friday night and wait and see how it went Saturday before making a decision on Saturday night.”
The Orange Lions Club Carnival committee will meet at 10 a.m., Saturday, to decide if the carnival will take place as schedule beginning at 4 p.m. or if the organization will delay the carnival until its regular schedule date to resume on Wednesday, Oct. 9.
“Safety is our number one concern, and we want to be a positive experience for everyone,” Kovatch continued. “Next week’s weather is looking pretty good so far, so we expect to make up for canceling the carnival on Friday and provide a great carnival experience for everyone who attends.”
Montra Lockwood, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, La., said Orange had some of the heaviest rainfall on Friday.
“The Orange-area, especially near downtown, received about one-half of an inch on Friday,” Lockwood said. “When you add that to what the area has already received, it can seem like a lot. By contrast, the Jack Brooks Regional Airport on received one-tenth of an inch on Friday.”
Orange County was approximately 9 to 12 inches below rainfall totals for the year-to-date in mid-September. However, in a short span of two weeks those drought like conditions have virtually disappeared.
“Since September 1st, the area is about two-inches above normal rainfall totals,” she continued. “For the year-to-date, it is down to about two-inches below where it should be, so we have caught up quite a bit.”
While persistent rains have plagued Southeast Texas, especially Orange County, for nearly two weeks, all eyes are watching the Gulf of Mexico and Tropical Storm Karen as it churns toward the United States.
Tropical Storm Karen would be the second named storm of a quiet hurricane season to make landfall in the U.S. — the first since Tropical Storm Andrea hit Florida in June, according to the Associated Press. Along with strong winds, the storm was forecast to produce rainfall of 3 to 6 inches through Sunday night. Isolated rain totals of up to 10 inches were possible.
Friday afternoon, Karen was about 235 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. Forecast tracks showed the storm possibly crossing the southeast Louisiana coast before veering eastward toward south Alabama and the Florida panhandle. But forecasters cautioned that the track was uncertain.
“We are confident on a northeastward turn. Just not exactly sure where or when that turn will occur,” said Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
A tropical storm watch stretched from the mouth of the Pearl River to Destin, Fla. A tropical storm warning was in effect from Morgan City, La., to the mouth of the Pearl. For Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, the effects should be minimal if at all.
“Even with the cold front on its way, most of the rain will be well east of us,” Lockwood added. “Then we will have several days of nice, cool weather to look forward to.”
The high temperature on Sunday will be near 80 degrees, while, the coldest temperatures of the fall arrive with a low of 54. Monday’s forecast calls for a high of 78 and low of 54, and Tuesday will have a high temperature of 81 degrees and a low of 61 degrees.