Major flooding is expected across Lake Charles, Louisiana, beginning this afternoon and lasting through tomorrow morning.

The Calcasieu River, which runs through Lake Charles, is currently forecast to rise to 15.6 feet by tomorrow morning. If this forecast plays out, it will surpass the previous record of 13.0 feet — which was set on Oct. 1, 1913 — by more than 2 feet.

At 13.0 feet, “Over half of the city of Lake Charles is flooded,” according to the National Weather Service. 

Since the city has never seen more than 13.0 feet of water along this river in recorded history, there is no way to know how widespread flooding of more than 15.0 feet could be.

Hurricane Ike, in 2008, brought the water levels here to 11 feet during its storm surge, inundating numerous homes.

The Calcasieu River connects directly to the Gulf of Mexico, just west of Cameron, Louisiana. 

Cameron, Louisiana, is forecast to see an “unsurvivable” storm surge of 15 to 20 feet. This storm surge is then forecast to push up the river, directly impacting cities such as Lake Charles. 

“This surge could penetrate up to 30 miles inland from the immediate coastline” warns the National Hurricane Center.

This flooding will occur extremely quickly, a 12-foot rise in just 18 hours, as the storm surge arrives in conjunction with high tide. Having the storm surge coinciding with the high tide is a worst-case scenario.