Useful Tools

Monitoring the threat of flooding during active storm events can be challenging because the best information comes from a variety of sources.

These tools can help you keep tabs on the risk of flash flooding and riverine flooding in Lafayette when storms are present.

NWS 48-hour Rain Forecast Map

This map from the National Weather Service shows the total rainfall forecast for the next 48 hours in a given area. Click the Legend icon for more info.

In Lafayette, anything over about 7.5 inches of rain in 48 hours is a substantial storm, though more intense bursts of rainfall can be threatening even if they amount to fewer inches of rain overall.

The map is updated regularly as the NWS issues new rainfall forecasts, and it automatically focuses on Lafayette, but you can click, drag and zoom to change the forecast area.

To see the National Weather Service’s official text forecast for Lafayette, including any severe weather warnings, visit the NWS Lake Charles website.

You can also view current rainfall observations at the Lafayette Regional Airport’s weather station online.

Additional Live Tools

This chart from NOAA shows the current level of the Vermilion River at Surrey Street in Lafayette.

Though the Vermilion River is not the greatest source of flood risk in Lafayette, it is a commonly used tool for gauging how much water the parish’s drainage system is grappling with at a given time.

This chart is regularly updated by the NWS and includes river level forecasts when they are issued during substantial storms.

The Vermilion River is the primary drainage channel for Lafayette Parish, but it is not the only source of flood risk. Click this chart for more detailed info from the NWS.

Lafayette Consolidated Government also publishes regularly updating information for a handful major local drainage channels, like Coulee Mine and Coulee Ile des Cannes, on its coulee gauges website, which includes live images of water levels in those channels at certain locations.

UL Louisiana Watershed Flood Center’s 500-year Storm Model

The following tools do not reflect active storm events. They are based on a simulated 500-year storm and are meant to illustrate its potential impacts on buildings and roads.

Inundation & Structural Damage

This map was created by UL’s Louisiana Watershed Flood Center to reflect the scale of structural damage that could be caused by a 500-year flood in Lafayette Parish. You can click, drag and zoom to change the focus area, and choose between different layers that show various information about potential damages. View the map in its own window here.

Transportation Impacts

This map was created by UL’s Louisiana Watershed Flood Center to show expected road accessibility at various points during a 500-year flood in Lafayette Parish. The tool works best when paused at a certain point in time, but can also be played as a time lapse. This and other tools, including maps depicting access to hospitals and Interstate evacuation routes, can also be viewed at the Louisiana Watershed Flood Center’s website.

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Find Out More

The Current takes Lafayette’s issues seriously, and flooding is frequently top of mind in how we report on our community. Check out our coverage below to find out more about Lafayette’s flood risk, how it impacts us and what we’re doing about it. 

Our Coverage