Relentless downpours that will bring rain totals up to 2 feet of rain in parts of Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas will produce record flooding on some area rivers and bayous into this weekend.
The excessive rainfall of the past few days is seeping into the ground and has begun working its way into progressively larger rivers.
Rising water has already hit some communities hard and closed roads and interstates across Texas to Louisiana. Some roads have crumbled due to the excessive floodwaters.
Additional unprotected communities and roads along the waterways will be at risk for taking on water.
The risk of major flooding will also expand into southern and eastern Arkansas, western Mississippi and western Tennessee as more rain falls farther east and northeast through Saturday.
Major flooding is forecast along portions of the Navasota, Neches, Sabine, San Jacinto and Trinity rivers in Texas. The water levels will challenge records in some communities over the next several days.
In Louisiana, Bayou D'Arbonne at Lake Claiborne was near record flood stage and Bayou Dorcheat at Lake Bistineau has already set a new record high water level as of Thursday morning.
Enough rain will fall to cause flooding along small streams, bayous and the rivers that meander into the Mississippi River, east of areas that have experienced flooding through Thursday.
"Since excessive rain is not expected along the Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri and upper Mississippi rivers, major flooding is not likely along the lower Mississippi River during this event," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.
"However, water levels will rise on portions of the lower Mississippi river as high volume from the Arkansas, Red and other rivers feed in over the next several weeks," Pydynowski said.
Last spring, a significant part of the region was hit with rounds of excessive rainfall and flooding. The area from Dallas to Houston and Shreveport, Louisiana, received two to four times their normal rainfall during May of 2015, which resulted in major flooding that left communities under water. Flooding also occurred in some of the same areas during the spring of 2012.
While water levels will begin to recede on streams and then the smaller rivers from late this weekend into the middle of next week, additional rounds of rain starting later next week can bring rounds of renewed flooding during much of March.
People are encouraged to monitor stream and river level forecasts closely, and never to attempt to drive through flooded roadways. The water may be much deeper than it appears. Only a foot or two of gently moving water can carry away a vehicle. Under some conditions, the road surface may have been compromised beneath shallow water.