Marion County is looking at not one but two storms hitting this week in a rare weather phenomena. Tropical Storm Marco and the larger Tropical Storm Laura are both working their way to landfall this week currently projected to be along the Louisiana coast.
It was this week 15 years ago Marion County received substantial damage when Hurricane Katrina made landfall Aug. 29, 2005.
At the National Weather Service briefing held this morning, Tropical Storm Marco will most likely strengthen to a hurricane when it makes landfall along the Southeast coast of Louisiana Monday. The current projected path of Marco has it making a sharp turn to the west once it reaches landfall. However, Marion County could still see one to three inches of rain beginning late Monday afternoon into the night.
Since the 11 a.m. briefing this morning, Marco has been upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane.
Storm surge is a potential threat along the coastal areas.
In the same time frame, Marion County could also experience 30- to 40-mph winds. The threat of tornados is isolated and is mostly in the coastal areas.
Tropical Storm Laura is also predicted to become a hurricane by the time it hits on Wednesday. It is currently projected to make landfall near the Southwest Louisiana coast. It is still a few days out from landfall so things could still change however with Laura, Marion County could also expect one to three inches of rain and winds between 30- to 40-mph. With Laura there is a risk of winds, flooding and possible tornados.
At the briefing Sunday morning held at the Columbia Police Department, police officers and members from the Columbia Fire Department were on hand. Beginning Monday morning, work will begin downtown to prepare for any potential flooding, including having a reserve firetruck set up incase water needs to be pumped to stop any flooding along Main Street.
On Saturday Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency ahead of these two storms this week.
The next weather briefing will be Monday morning at 11 a.m. Be sure to check The Columbian-Progress website for all up-to-date information on these storms.