Tropical Storm Barry makes landfall in Louisiana

Louisiana in state of emergency bracing for Tropical Storm Barry

Louisiana in state of emergency bracing for Tropical Storm Barry

In its 2 p.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the eye was 5 miles northeast of Intracoastal City and 30 miles southwest of Lafayatte.

City officials warned New Orleans residents to secure their homes, stock up on supplies and prepare to huddle indoors.

Still, the center continues to warn of risky storm surge, heavy rains and strong winds.

Officials predicted Barry would make landfall Saturday morning near Morgan City as the first hurricane of the season, with the edges of the storm already lashing Louisiana with rain and leaving some coastal roads underwater.

While there is no definitive link between climate change and Storm Barry, rising temperatures are increasingly a factor in making the impact of events like this more intense.

Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic flooding in New Orleans in 2005, and was blamed for more than 1,800 deaths in Louisiana and other states, by some estimates. The weather service said some gusts could reach up to 35 miles per hour this morning and through the afternoon, and a wind advisory is in effect along the coast.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said it was the first time all floodgates were sealed in the New Orleans-area since Katrina.

"No one should take this storm lightly", Edwards said on Twitter.

"[Barry] is smaller and the wind is not almost as strong or as concentrated as it was with Katrina, but it's still a high impact storm - and people need to realize this", said the hurricane forecaster.

"The lack of rainfall across Louisiana early Saturday morning should not fool residents into thinking that it's safe to venture out".

Governors declared emergencies in Louisiana and MS, and authorities took unprecedented precautions in closing floodgates and raising the barriers around New Orleans.

"A voluntary evacuation is in place for residents of low lying areas, those with special needs, those who require uninterrupted electrical power or who live in manufactured housing or mobile homes", said Lafayette Parish Mayor President Joel Robideaux.

More news: United Kingdom police to investigate leak of ambassador's memos
More news: Irina Shayk reflects on motherhood and marriage after Bradley Cooper split
More news: 4.6 quake rattles Seattle region in the middle of the night

Every flood gate has been closed along Lake Pontchartrain due to the anticipated flooding.

Authorities told at least 10,000 people in exposed, low-lying areas along the Gulf Coast to leave, but no evacuations were ordered in New Orleans, where officials urged residents to "shelter in place". Gusty winds may occur through the overnight hours, but any sustained winds exceeding tropical storm force (39mph) will likely remain west of the Mississippi River.

Barry is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches over south-central and southeast Louisiana and southwest MS, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches.

The city of Houston is also gathering donations to be sent to those impacted by Barry.

According to Entergy Louisiana's outages map, more than 45,800 people have been affected by power outages.

"Our greatest concern is for torrential rain that would result in life-threatening flooding", AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said. Since moving inland, the storm has shown steady weakening in the wind fields with maximum sustained winds around 60mph.

Though expected to be a weak hurricane, Barry threatened disastrous flooding across a swath of the Gulf Coast.

When it comes to water, New Orleans faces three threats: the sea, the sky and the river. "So right now, New Orleans is looking at a significant rise in water".

Additional reporting by AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer and National News Reporter Jonathan Petramala. And the Mississippi River, which drains most of the water that falls in a vast section of the United States and even parts of Canada, is held in check by tall levees.

Highway 23 is now open, but the highway may take on water which will likely impact travel between Phillips 66 Refinery to Venice.

The levees have never been overtopped in the city's modern-day history, but the river remains swollen by months of rain across the Midwest, and its flows will push against a storm surge flowing upstream from the Gulf of Mexico.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.