Monday, 14 October, 2019

Tropical Storm Barry maintaining strength as it nears the coast

ABC Action News tracks tropical developments in the Atlantic ABC Action News tracks tropical developments in the Atlantic
Sandra Phillips | 13 July, 2019, 06:51

A hurricane warning - meaning hurricane conditions are expected - has been declared for the area from Grand Isle (some 50 miles south of New Orleans) westward to Intracoastal City, which sits along the Vermilion River.

The storm could give New Orleans its worst drenching in decades, possibly eclipsing the city's wettest day on record - 12.24 inches - on May 8, 1995, forecasters said.

Jalana Furlough carries her son Drew Furlough as Terrian Jones carries Chance Furlough in New Orleans after flooding Wednesday. "The only forecast for overtopping was down in lower Plaquemines Parish".

Scott says the number one threat will be the heavy flooding and rainfall.

Category 1 is the lowest ranking of hurricane strength on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Officials urged residents to be prepared for the worst during Thursday's press conference.

"There is no system in the world that can handle that amount of rainfall in such a short period", Cantrell said on Twitter.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday evening that everyone should prepare for the coming storm and heed the direction of all officials.

These women said friends and family kept calling to make sure they were OK.

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The storm is expected to become Hurricane Barry by late Friday or early Saturday. Meteorologists warned that torrential rains - as much as 2 feet (60 cm) in some places - are likely to unleash severe flooding. However, in some areas, the storm could bring as much as 25 inches of rain, officials warned.

Katrina caused catastrophic flooding in New Orleans 14 years ago and was blamed for more than 1,800 deaths in Louisiana and other states, by some estimates.

With the storm expected to blow ashore by early Saturday, National Guard troops and rescue crews were stationed around the state with boats and high-water vehicles, helicopters were on standby, drinking water and blankets were made ready for distribution, and utility crews with bucket trucks moved into the region.

"Already the ground is very saturated, the MS running very high into portions of Louisiana, so it's not going to take much to produce problems", said AccuWeather's Justin Povick.

Hurricane warnings are up for most of the Louisiana coast as the weather system has already brought risky storm surge, heavy rains and gusty winds to cities.

A performance scheduled for Sunday by the Rolling Stones at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which served as an emergency shelter during the Hurricane Katrina flood catastrophe of 2005, was postponed until Monday.

Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains the levees, insisted that no significant breaching of the 20-foot-tall levees in New Orleans was likely. And though water piled up briefly on some streets, the storm was a good test of the drainage system, Edwards said.

"We're trying to evacuate and get all of our family members up and go to St. Bernard Parish", he said.

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