NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A hurricane warning has been issued for parts of the Louisiana coast ahead of Tropical Storm Barry’s arrival.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center issued the warning Thursday afternoon for the Louisiana coast from Intracoastal City to Grand Isle. A tropical storm warning is in effect for other areas including the New Orleans metro area.
Barry is currently a tropical storm with winds of about 40 mph, and was offshore about 90 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Forecasters say the storm is likely to become a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall Friday or early Saturday
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tropical Storm Barry formed off the coast of Louisiana on Thursday and threatened to blow ashore as a hurricane with drenching rains that could test the flood-control improvements made in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina 14 years ago.
Forecasters said the first hurricane of the Atlantic season could hit the state’s swampy southern tip on Friday, with the biggest danger posed not by the wind but by downpours that could go on for hours.
On Wednesday, with the gathering storm still out over the Gulf of Mexico, it dumped as much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) on metro New Orleans in just three hours. The deluge triggered flash flooding and raised fears about the even heavier rains on the way.
Forecaster said the storm could pour more water into the already swollen Mississippi River, possibly sending water over levees. The river has been running high for months.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared an emergency and said National Guard troops and high-water vehicles will be positioned all over the state.
“The entire coast of Louisiana is at play in this storm,” he warned.
New Orleans officials asked people to keep at least three days of supplies on hand and to keep their neighborhood storm drains clear so water can move quickly.
A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans said the agency is not expecting widespread overtopping of the levees, but there are concerns for areas south of the city. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for people living near the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, at Louisiana’s southeastern tip.