Rivers normally flow into the Gulf, but Laura’s strong winds blew the top layer of water upriver, away from the Gulf, instead.
Chris Dier captured a time lapse of the phenomena Wednesday afternoon from Arabi, one neighborhood downriver of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward and about 200 miles east of where Laura made landfall.
In the tweeted video, a Gulf-bound barge can be seen fighting against the inland flow of the water.
The winds in Arabi and across southern Louisiana gusted at tropical-storm force throughout Wednesday and Thursday morning, as Laura passed to the west. These winds pushed the surface water back up river, as seen in the video, CNN Weather experts said.
River gauges maintained by the US Geological Survey and the Army Corps of Engineers showed that the main current of the river slowed during this time, likely because the surface water was flowing in the opposite direction, along with the wind, they said.
The Mississippi River’s flow has reversed completely in the past, not just the top layer.