Federal Emergency Declared as Barry Heads for Land

Federal Emergency Declared as Barry Heads for Land

July 13, 2019– Mary Greeley News – Tropical Storm Barry has been gathering strength Friday morning, making its way up the Gulf Coast in Louisiana toward shore. With strong winds already lashing the state’s shoreline, the storm is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane by late Friday, and is predicted to make landfall early Saturday, bringing with it winds that are currently up to 65 mph and torrential rainfall that will cause massive flooding.

The National Hurricane Center has warned of life-threatening storm surges across the state’s south and southeast with sustained, heavy rains expected along the central Gulf Coast and Mississippi Valley. Its danger is not so much the wind, but the water it brings. The Center’s director Ken Graham said in a Facebook Live broadcast Friday morning that although the storm is moving very slowly, bringing heavy rain into Louisiana, “That makes for more rainfall,” he said. “That makes for more impacts and hazards.”

Declaration of emergency issued

President Donald Trump has declared a federal emergency in Louisiana, which authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, ahead of Barry’s expected landfall. It also gives the state access to federal emergency resources ahead of the storm’s approach.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency during a press conference Thursday, warning of coastal flooding and heavy rainfall.

“I would remind everyone this is the 258th consecutive day of the flood fight on the Mississippi River. That is the longest in history,” he said. “And if Tropical Storm Barry becomes a hurricane as we fully expect it will, this will be the first time that we’ve had a hurricane make landfall in Louisiana while the Mississippi River was at flood stage. And it isn’t just the Mississippi. We have elevated river levels across Louisiana.”

On Friday morning, New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell warned residents to make their final preparations. Writing on Twitter, Cantrell reminded residents to gather emergency supplies — including water, food and medication for at least three days and to prepare their properties for heavy rain and wind. Cantrell announced people should take shelter by 8 p.m. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority announced it would also suspend services starting at 8 p.m.

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Hurricane warnings are in effect for parts of the Louisiana coast, with “hurricane conditions” expected, as well as a tropical storm warning for metropolitan New Orleans. Punishing storm conditions are expected to hit these areas on Friday and Saturday.The Mississippi River at New Orleans is forecast to crest at 19 feet Saturday evening, the highest level in nearly 70 years, according to the National Weather Service. As the storm nears, it could worsen ongoing flooding in New Orleans and the surrounding area.

Federal Emergency Declared as Barry Heads for Land

The National Hurricane Center has predicted storm surges of up to 4 feet at Lake Pontchartrain outside New Orleans and issued hurricane watches and warnings along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast. The Center has issued a hurricane warning from Intracoastal City to Grand Isle, while a hurricane watch is in effect from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Grand Isle and from Intracoastal City to Cameron.

Mary Greeley News

credit: In part with https://time.com/5624030/barry-hurricane-tropical-storm-louisiana/