New Orleans Floods as Gulf Coast Braces for Torrential Rains

A broad area of low pressure has a high chance of developing into a classified system in the northern Gulf

A broad area of low pressure has a high chance of developing into a classified system in the northern Gulf

And some areas, like New Orleans, are already coping with serious flooding from strong thunderstorms that hit on Wednesday.

While the rains have eased for now in New Orleans, forecasts project Barry to strike the coast of Louisiana or northeast Texas this weekend.

The floods were also accompanied by another terrifying natural phenomenon - a waterspout that was caught on camera by residents of the city.

"The most recent July tropical storm landfall was Tropical Storm Emily in Florida in 2017", he said. "I'm very concerned about the impending storm, with the Mississippi River near flood stage".

Forecasters warned drivers to stay off flooded roads. The heavy rain that created the flooding in New Orleans later tracked to the southwest, prompting an additional flash flood emergency for Jefferson Parish.

NOAA released a report Wednesday which shows how high tide flooding events increased in 2018, and are expected to continue to increase in 2019. The first named storm of the year was Subtropical Storm Andrea, which developed south of Bermuda on May 20 - before the official start of hurricane season - and weakened before posing any threat to land.

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A system that moves inland in south central Louisiana would have less time to strengthen over the warm waters of the Gulf. The system was expected to become a tropical depression by Thursday morning, a tropical storm by Thursday night and a hurricane on Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Forecasters said parts of the central Gulf Coast could see a total of up to 30 centimetres of rain, with up to 46 centimetres in isolated areas. Storm surge is expected to be between three and five feet, and the storm is predicted to bring rainfall of at least 18 inches.

Shell has evacuated all non-essential staff from eastern Gulf drilling rigs, with more action on the horizon depending on how the storm develops, spokeswoman Cindy Babski told CNN.

"The city is protected to a project height of 20 feet". For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.Interests elsewhere along the U.S. Gulf Coast from the Upper Texas Coast to the Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress of this system.

The NWS said the river could crest at 19 feet, or 2.3 feet below the record.

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

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