Published: Sat, July 13, 2019
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Tropical Storm Barry closes in with what could be epic rain

Tropical Storm Barry closes in with what could be epic rain

As of early Friday, Barry was about 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of the mouth of the MS, with winds around 50 mph (80 kph).

Mandatory evacuations were imposed in flood-prone coastal areas of two neighboring parishes south of the city.

President Donald Trump on Thursday night declared a federal declaration of emergency for Louisiana, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

Officials canceled a Sunday night concert by the Rolling Stones.

The impending storm was widely seen as a key test of the fortified flood defenses put in place following Katrina, which inundated much of the city and killed some 1,800 people.

Barry is getting stronger as it creeps across the Gulf of Mexico's warm waters en route to a landfall expected early Saturday in Louisiana. The hurricane center says additional strengthening is expected and the storm is forecast to be a hurricane when its center reaches the coast.

"Record flooding will be possible".

"There are three ways that Louisiana can flood: storm surge, high rivers and rain", Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. He said authorities do not expect the river to spill over its levees, but cautioned that a change in the storm's direction or intensity could alter that.

The brunt of Barry was expected to skirt the western edge of New Orleans, avoiding a direct hit. She still plans to go but stocked up on canned food and water in case her "hurrication" falls through and she has to ride out the storm, she said.

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

The Mississippi is expected to crest Saturday at about 5.8m in New Orleans, where the levees protecting the city range from about 6m to 7.5m in height.

"If it's worse than the other day, it'd be the worst week since Katrina", said musician Robert Harris, 61, polishing his trombone while sitting in a folding chair on a sidewalk.

The chance of overtopping levees seemed greater farther downstream, where the levee walls are lower.

Gulliver-Garcia worries about people with limited options and without the means to evacuate, she said, adding that she knows people across the country who would take her in at a moment's notice.

About 10,000 people in Plaquemines Parish on Louisiana's low-lying southeastern tip were ordered evacuated on Thursday.

Development in the New Orleans region, a major oil hub, has made the area more vulnerable to storms, with the removal of wetlands which help protect coasts.

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