President Trump on Thursday evening declared a federal emergency in Louisiana, allowing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts in the country. prospect of strengthening Tropical Storm Barry.
Trump approved federal aid at the request of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who said that in the last 24 hours, 28 parishes had issued emergency declarations and 14 were doing it. Residents accumulated sandbags or fled to the heights to prepare for torrential rains. Significant floods are expected once the storm hits the Gulf of Mexico on Friday or early Saturday.
HURRICANE WATCH IN LOUISIANA, OBLIGATORY EVACUATIONS PUBLISHED BY BARRY WHICH EXPECTS A FALL OF 20 INCH RAIN
Trump tweeted Thursday night: "To everyone on the Gulf Coast: As you prepare to protect your homes and loved ones from floods and the storm, it is imperative that you follow the instructions of @FEMA, local officials and the state. We work closely with them. Please be prepared, be careful, and be sure! "
Edwards expressed appreciation for the president's action in a personal message from Twitter.
"Thank you, President Trump, for quickly responding to my request for a federal declaration of disaster," wrote the Democrat. "We appreciate the support of the White House and our federal partners as we continue our unprecedented fight against floods and respond to the tropical storm."
Edwards had declared the state of emergency on Wednesday, allowing the activation of 3,000 soldiers and airmen of the Louisiana National Guard before the storm, reported Baton Rouge's WBRZ-TV channel. National Guard troops and rescue teams aboard high-water vehicles took positions around the state as Louisiana prepared for the arrival of the storm.
Barry may be driving winds of about 75 mph, just above the threshold of a hurricane, when he arrives on shore, making it a Category 1 storm, forecasters said. It's expected that it brings over a foot and a half of rain in potentially devastating showers that can last for hours when the storm crosses the metropolitan area by nearly 1.3 million. ### 39 inhabitants and is heading inland.
The National Meteorological Service has indicated that it expects the Mississippi River to reach 19 feet by Saturday morning with a key indicator in the New Orleans area protected by seawalls. 20 to 25 feet in height. Although the storm is not expected to become a major hurricane, torrential rains in the storm are expected to test New Orleans' improved defenses after the Katrina floods.
According to some estimates, Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic floods in New Orleans in 2005 and is responsible for more than 1,800 deaths in Louisiana and other states. As a result of this, the Corps of Army Engineers has put in place a multibillion hurricane protection system that is not complete. The work included repairing and upgrading some 350 miles of dikes and more than 70 pumping stations used to remove floodwaters.
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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the heavy Barry rains would put a strain on the pumping system that drains the streets of the city. The city does not plan to order the evacuation because Barry should not become a major hurricane. Instead, officials advised people to keep at least three days of supplies and leave the nearby storm sewers open so that water can circulate quickly.
Associated Press contributed to this report.