A severe microburst storm with winds in excess of 70 MPH has capsized a large commercial boat off the coast of Louisiana, leaving “multiple people in the water.”
In an ongoing situation Tuesday, The United States Coast Guard is searching for individuals swept overboard off the Louisiana coast. At least one large boat is known to have capsized during a severe storm outburst near Grand Isle, Louisiana.
USCG spokesperson Jonathan Lally notes officers received several reports of “vessels hit” within the storm. Categorized as a microburst, the severe weather outbreak sent winds over 70 MPH crashing into Louisiana boats, alongside swelling waves.
Lally adds that Coast Guard boats are currently searching for victims off the coast alongside good samaritan vessels. Conditions are still severe, however, which is limiting the use of Coast Guard helicopters for aid in their search.
“I’m on the boat and we doing 4 knots keeping the bow in the wind,” writes Louisiana resident Bruce Simon on Facebook. ‘Waves are breaking over the bow!”
Further footage of the Louisiana storm has been shared to social media, with news correspondent Scot Pilie sharing the following, startling footage via Twitter.
“Nauseating video of an angry Gulf Of Mexico south of Grand Isle. Reports of winds above 70mph, huge swells,” Pilie writes Tuesday, crediting the video to J & B Boat Rentals, LLC and Bruce Simon:
Louisiana Boat Crisis Due to Rare Microburst Storm
According to the USCG, the responsible microburst storm caught several boats off the Louisiana coast completely off-guard. To understand how, the National Weather Service offers a complete detailing of the phenomenon.
“A microburst is a localized column of sinking air (downdraft) within a thunderstorm and is usually less than or equal to 2.5 miles in diameter,” the organization states. Furthermore, “Microbursts can cause extensive damage at the surface, and in some instances, can be life-threatening.”
According to the NWS, there are two primary types of microbursts:
- Wet microbursts
- Dry microbursts
“Wet microbursts are accompanied by significant precipitation and are common in the Southeast during the summer months,” they note.
Microbursts like the one seen Tuesday evening start “with the development of a thunderstorm and the water droplets/hailstones being suspended within the updraft.” NWS cites that these updrafts can be so strong that they suspend “large amounts of these droplets and hailstones in the upper portions of the thunderstorm.”
Once this updraft cools and weakens, however, the core plummets to the ground – causing significant damage.
“The location in which the microburst first hits the ground experiences the highest winds and greatest damage,” the organization concludes.
As the microburst storm rages, the U.S. Coast Guard Heartland sent out a “breaking news” tweet as they deal with the Louisiana boat crisis.
“#HappeningNow the @USCG & multiple #goodSamaritan vessels are responding to a 265-ft capsized commercial lift boat south of Grand Isle.”
Casualties, if any, are not yet known.