Barry makes landfall, downgraded to tropical storm

Louisiana in state of emergency bracing for Tropical Storm Barry

Louisiana in state of emergency bracing for Tropical Storm Barry

Dubbed "Hurricane Barry", a category 1 hurricane reaching up to 75 miles per hour (120 km/h) winds made landfall around 1pm on Saturday and is sweeping across Louisiana. Maximum sustained winds were 70 mph, four mph below the designation, and was moving 6 mph northwest. On-again, off again rain hit the city overnight.

Parts of Dauphin Island, a barrier island in Alabama 322 kilometres from where Barry was headed, were flooded both by rain and surging water from the Gulf, said Mayor Jeff Collier, who was driving around in a Humvee to survey damage.

"[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. "We are continuing to monitor heavy rainfall, storm surge, and levels of the Mississippi River".

The storm threatening the Louisiana coast has strengthened to a hurricane.

Hurricane Barry made landfall today as a tropical storm, weakened as it left the ocean. There were predictions of 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 centimeters) of rain through Sunday across a swath of Louisiana that includes New Orleans and Baton Rouge with some parts of the state possible getting 25 inches (63 centimeters).

The Coast Guard rescued more than a dozen people from the flooded remote island of Isle de Jean Charles, south of New Orleans, where water had risen so high that some residents were clinging to rooftops. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said it was the first time all floodgates were sealed in the New Orleans-area since Katrina.

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

Another study found that the amount of rain that fell on the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 was equal to the amount of water that evaporated from the Gulf into the storm as it formed.

Since then, the city's Sewerage and Water Board, one of the key agencies responsible for drainage, has poured tens of millions of dollars into generating power to make sure there's enough electricity to keep pumps working. In particular, a new surge barrier and gate that closes off the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal near the Lower 9th Ward has reduced the risk of flooding in an area long viewed as the city's Achilles' heel.

Officials predicted Barry would make landfall near Morgan City, west of New Orleans.

Kit Stovall loads sandbags into his pickup truck with the help of Mississippi Department of Corrections inmates in Fernwood, Mississippi in preparation for Tropical Storm Barry.

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The storm is now spinning with 70mph winds and is projected to tip out as much as 10 to 20 inches of rain over Louisiana.

More than 45,000 people in southern Louisiana had lost power, and some roads were underwater as the edges of the storm lashed Louisiana and coastal MS and Alabama with rain.

"The rain is our primary concern", Kilcullen said.

Unsafe storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

Hurricane Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico earlier last week as a tropical depression, rotating with powerful winds as it made its way towards land.

When it comes to water, New Orleans faces three threats: the sea, the sky and the river.

This weekend's Rolling Stones concert has been delayed.

The New Orleans area is protected from the mighty Mississippi River by levees that started going up right around the time of the city's first settlers three centuries ago.

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

Authorities urged citizens to secure property, stock up provisions and shelter in place.

10 a.m. CDT Saturday: The National Guard is in Montegut, La., making emergency evacuations after a levee broke. The biggest outages were in Jefferson, Lafourche, Assumption and Terrebone parishes, all located in southern Louisiana.

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