Matthew, downgraded to tropical depression, causes flooding in southeast Louisiana

Monday, October 11th 2004, 7:55 pm
By: News On 6

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Service was restored Monday for residents of a Louisiana city where Tropical Storm Matthew broke a water main, but residents of some coastal areas were still waiting for a wind shift to push high water back out to sea.

The weakening remnants of the 13th named storm of the season, downgraded from a tropical storm Sunday, had moved north out of Louisiana on Monday but the weather service continued a coastal flood warning, saying wind still could push tide levels at least 2 to 4 feet above normal.

The storm dropped up to 12 inches of rain in southeastern Louisiana during the weekend, the weather service said. No injuries were reported.

An estimated 30,000 residents lost water service in LaPlace when a tidal surge broke their water main. Several schools were closed in St. John the Baptist Parish because of the outage.

The parish Office of Emergency Preparedness said repairs were finished Monday morning.

Emergency officials were waiting for the wind to shift to the north and drive water out of shore areas and back into Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Residents had been forced out of one area of Slidell on Lake Pontchartrain.

``It caught a lot of people by surprise,'' Ray Chidester, director of emergency operations in Livingston Parish, on the lake's north side.

In the Atlantic, Nicole, the 14th named storm for the 2004 hurricane season, caused little damage in Bermuda as it headed north. Nicole did not meet the strict definition of a tropical storm but was classified a subtropical system.

At 5 p.m. EDT Monday, Nicole's center was about 345 miles south-southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and moving north-northeast at about 32 mph, forecasters said. The storm had top sustained winds near 50 mph.

The coasts of Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia may feel the storm's outer effects by Wednesday.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.