Barry Becomes a Hurricane, Barrels Toward Louisiana Coast

Barry Becomes a Hurricane Barrels Toward Louisiana Coast

Barry Becomes a Hurricane Barrels Toward Louisiana Coast

At 4:00 pm (2100 GMT), the storm was packing winds of 65 miles (100 kilometers) per hour, the National Hurricane Center said, and was located near the city of Lafayette, moving north-northwest at seven mph.

Because of the storm's slow movement, rain won't taper off in Louisiana and MS until the second half of Monday or Monday night from south to north. Rain could linger in Arkansas and western Tennessee through Tuesday, where 6 to 10 inches of rain could fall and trigger flooding.

Barry is forecast to produce an additional 3 to 6 inches of rain from the lower Mississippi River Valley through portions of Arkansas, west Tennessee and northwest Mississippi, said CNN meteorologist Michael Guy.

Storm Barry has made landfall in Louisiana, where officials have warned of potentially life-threatening floods.

Storm surge began to inundate the coast of Louisiana as early as Friday morning as Barry gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico.

"A lot of rainfall still yet to come out in the Gulf of Mexico", NOAA National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham said during a Facebook Live at 11 a.m. ET. To be classed as a hurricane there must be one-minute maximum sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour to be classed as a category one, or more than 156 miles per hour to be classed as a category five.

The Crescent City sealed all of its floodgates for the first time since 2005's Hurricane Katrina, but officials said they no longer believed water would top the levees built along the MS after that storm devastated the city.

Tourists walk on Bourbon Street during Hurricane Barry in New Orleans, La., July 13, 2019.

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In addition, all flights in and out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on Saturday were cancelled.

Predictions for the heaviest rainfall have shifted west of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, where just one to three inches are forecast.

At least one levee, in Plaquemines Parish in the state's tip, was already overtopped by water by midday on Saturday. Terrebonne Parish ordered a new evacuation affecting an estimated 400 people. The Coast Guard also rescued a dozen people from flooded areas in the parish.

A cold front passing Sunday night will drop highs a couple of degrees for Monday. KTBS-tv said the National Guard had to halt its initial rescue mission because the water was too high to safely reach the family.

Its heaviest rain on Saturday and Saturday night focused in southern MS and Alabama where up to three to seven inches fell.

By early evening, New Orleans had been spared the worst effects, receiving only light showers and gusty winds, and a forecaster said the city may escape with only two to four inches of rain. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said New Orleans residents "are not out of the woods with this system".

The storm dumped heavy rain that officials feared could test the levees and pumps that were bolstered after Hurricane Katrina devastated the state in 2005.

U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in Louisiana Thursday night, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate federal funds and resources to help the state cope with the storm and its aftermath. And in Mandeville, La., on the opposite side of Lake Pontchartrain from the Big Easy, water was thigh-high by midafternoon due to the storm surge.

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