Pat Shingleton for Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mother Nature set the alarm clock for 6:02 this morning, officially launching spring. The start of spring introduces windy weather in many sections of the U.S. and more kite flying. Another tradition for the National Weather Service includes informing and preparing the public for flooding. This week is Flood Safety Awareness Week and the Weather Service provides daily educational topics. Flooding in the U.S. and its territories occur every day of the year, causing more damage than any other weather-related event. In the past 30 years, flooding caused 95 deaths per year, on average, and $8 billion in damage. Rainfall on the watersheds of the Amite, Comite, Tickfaw and Tangipahoa River basins in excess of 6 inches rapidly increases river levels, placing residents at risk. Fastcast: Comfortable.