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Weather alerts came from cellular providers, not NWS

Last Modified: Saturday, September 21, 2013 11:00 PM

By Justin Phillips / American Press

As rain battered Southwest Louisiana overnight Friday and into Saturday, many local residents noticed flash flood warnings pop up not only on their televisions, but in text messages on their phones.

The messages aren’t coming directly from the National Weather Service. Instead, the texts are courtesy of your specific cellular service provider.

Joe Rua, a meteorologist for the weather service, said the alerts aren’t anything new and should be a regular occurrence shortly.

“It’s government mandated, but it’s all through your own service provider,” he said. “It’s supposed to be a nationwide thing here soon. If there is an EMS-type message sent out, then the phone should go off. My phone was going off last night, and I have AT&T.”

The flash flood warnings rang true for certain parts of the area. Calcasieu Parish, southern Beauregard Parish and southwest Allen Parish were in the bull’s-eye of the severe weather.

“There’s been a lot of street flooding,” Rua said. “There’s been flooding in homes in northern Moss Bluff. Basically, it’s street flooding that has spilled over into the homes.”

The worst of the storm system, which Rua described as a slow-moving funnel that ran into some tropical moisture, has passed through the area. Rua said the Calcasieu River near Old Town Bay will start cresting Sunday and that the water will recede the following day.

“Right now, the front has moved through us, and the clouds should move out tonight,” he said.

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