Tropical Storm Barry swept Louisiana Sunday, heading north as it struck rain and wind. The storm is expected to weaken throughout the day, but authorities have warned of "dangerous and potentially fatal floods" and possible tornadoes.
- Tropical storm and storm surge warnings were in effect on Sunday for the broad bands of Louisiana.
- "Mississippi is [the river] what is lifted and does not pose a threat, "Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) said at a news briefing. "Every other river represents a threat of flooding."
- Forecasters were expecting Barry's center to move into western central and northern Louisiana throughout the day and then into Arkansas late in the day and Monday .
NEW ORLEANS – Tropical Storm Barry continued to shake Louisiana slowly on Sunday, leading to waves of rain that forecasters predict could lead to dangerous flash floods.
The storm has done less rain than initially expected and is expected to weaken throughout the day. But while Barry was walking slowly through the area, the storm was still a major threat. Flood observers spanned most of Louisiana, as well as Mississippi and Arkansas.
The National Hurricane Center has stated that Barry could drop up to a foot of rain in parts of south and central Louisiana, with a possibility of 20 inches in some areas.
"These rains should result in dangerous and potentially fatal floods," the center said Sunday morning.
A day after landing on the Louisiana coast – thus becoming the first hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic season – Barry was moving north, according to the National Hurricane Center. The center announced Sunday morning that Barry's center "would cross the western part of central and northern Louisiana today, as well as Arkansas tonight and this Monday." He also clarified that the storm would ease under the effect of a tropical depression Sunday.
Even if the storm loses power, its slow trajectory to the north is expected to wreak havoc, with the hurricane center warning of strong storms, floods due to the movement of water to the north. inland and flooding rivers.
The Louisiana National Guard has deployed nearly 3,000 soldiers to the state, authorities said. Louisiana state police deployed soldiers throughout the state, "with specific concentrations in coastal areas," said spokesman, Lt. Nick Manale. Manale explained that her job included patrolling roadways and evacuation routes, escorting medical personnel from Texas and ensuring the safety of the evacuees.
Even as forecasts changed, officials pointed out that the possibility of floods caused by Barry remained a serious threat.
"We are by no means out of the woods," said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) at a press conference Saturday afternoon.
Constant rain fell on New Orleans during the night and Sunday morning, but there were signs that the city was slowly trying to return to normal. The cars were back in the streets and the hotel restaurants – which operated with a skeletal staff – resumed normal service. Airlines that canceled flights in and out of the city began to resume normal business on Sunday morning.
Cantrell announced Sunday morning that tropical storm warnings and storm surges for his city had been canceled, although flash flood monitoring lasted until Sunday night.
The forecast for the heaviest rains was shifted west of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, which is a positive sign for two population centers that have a weary experience of storms and storms. flooding. Rainfall was expected to continue in both areas and flooding remained a possibility.
Other areas remained on guard. Governor John Bel Edwards (D) said at a press conference that the Mississippi River had land levees "and that it was not a threat," he added, " every other river is a threat to the floods. "
The Comite River is expected to reach a higher peak than during the 2016 destructive floods; Amite could also be well above the flood stage. At Morgan City, on the Atchafalaya River, rain and wind have already cut down trees and power lines on Saturday, leaving more than 6,000 people in the dark, according to David Naquin of the Homeland Security and Civil Protection Bureau. St. Mary's Parish.
A couple had to be rescued from their caravan, said Naquin, after live cables fell on them and they dare not touch the metal door handles.
In New Orleans, officials expressed confidence in the flood control system put in place to protect the city after Hurricane Katrina. Pilot Harold Nolan said that he was relieved that the city seems to have escaped the worst effects of the storm. He said he and other long-time residents of New Orleans had felt a few days ago that the weather forecast was "unnecessarily exaggerating" the storm before he arrived.
"I think a lot of media have played that too," Nolan said. "I just do not see that they did not see that this storm was going to get around most of New Orleans, even though it was wreaking havoc in other parts of Louisiana in this moment."
Cantrell, the mayor, had asked residents to stay at home throughout the weekend, refusing to put in place a curfew that she said would require additional resources.
On the Lafourche parish side of Des Allemands, a town about 40 minutes southwest of New Orleans, the inhabitants of Bayou des Allemands were anxiously watching the rough waters on Saturday night.
"The water is not high yet, but if it goes up three feet, they say it will be over the dike," said George Toney, 31, who lives right in front of the bayou lined boats . "We are now thinking that we are going to be good, so we are not worried as we have been in recent days. But we must be ready like everyone else. We all packed our bags in case we had to leave, but for now, we are staying there. "
At the end of the street, Mark Fonseca's property is located directly on the bayou. Fonseca, 47, spent Saturday morning piling sandbags on the small dike wall he built with rocks, clay and earth last year.
"If we do not keep the water out of here, everyone in the neighborhood will be flooded," he said. "I built the dike so that I did not need sandbags so much anymore. I'm getting old. Fonseca, a blue crab, catfish and alligator fisherman, has lived in this house all his life. "The water table is much higher than when I was younger," he said. "We are supposed to lose coasts every year and the water is rising faster than before."
On Saturday, the bayou, although high, did not test the Fonseca dike.
"I do not really worry about any water damage, or anything, but again, the storm is happening so slowly," he said. "We take it day by day right now. As simple as that. We are just watching. "
Berman reported from Washington. Jason Samenow in Washington and Ashley Cusick for Germans contributed to this report.