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Severe weather wallops the South with flooding and hail

CBS News logo CBS News 5/14/2019 David Begnaud
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Norco, La. — The National Weather Service confirmed at least one tornado touched down Monday east of Raleigh, North Carolina. Homes were damaged and trees knocked down, but there were no serious injuries reported.

Severe weather Monday in Garner, North Carolina, brought golf-size hail that damaged cars and shattered windshields. The same system flooded New Orleans Saturday with two inches of rain an hour. Neighborhoods were flooded and public transportation halted.

Outside New Orleans, the Bonnet Carre Spillway has been opened in order to stop the mighty Mississippi River from overflowing levees and flooding New Orleans. Monday is the 200th day the Mississippi has been at flood stage in south Louisiana, and 41 percent of the country's water is drained through there into the Gulf of Mexico.

"The Mississippi River, if it were to flow into the Superdome, it would fill the Superdome up in about two or three minutes," said Col. Michael Clancy with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Mark Davis, a water policy expert at Tulane University, said to live there comes with risk.

a group of people standing in front of a building: Louisiana flooding seen Mon., May 13, 2019. © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Louisiana flooding seen Mon., May 13, 2019.

"Opening the Bonnet Carre keeps essentially the chemical corridor, the port of New Orleans, all of populations centers here in business," he said.

Bonnet Carre was constructed after the great Mississippi flood of 1927, which was the most destructive river flood in U.S. history and forced nearly 700,000 people from their homes.

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