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.
Flew over Tropical Storm Berry pic.twitter.com/RuOnvNjh73
— Johnny Trill (@JefferyPB14) July 12, 2019
Flew over Tropical Storm Berry pic.twitter.com/RuOnvNjh73
— Johnny Trill (@JefferyPB14) July 12, 2019
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.
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) July 12, 2019
In regards to tropical storm Berry Why the hell would you have people Shelter in place Are you asking them to die? How f****** stupid
— Ⓜike Napa Official (@RealMikeNapa) July 12, 2019
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.
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.
BARRY EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE BEFORE REACHING THE SOUTH-CENTRAL COAST OF LOUISIANA… …DANGEROUS STORM SURGE, HEAVY RAINS, AND WIND CONDITIONS EXPECTED ACROSS THE NORTH-CENTRAL GULF COAST…
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.
A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible, while a hurricane warning means that those conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. The National Hurricane Center also advises that tornadoes are possible Friday and Friday night across southeast Louisiana, far southern Mississippi, and the Alabama coast.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, for Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas including metropolitan New Orleans, and from Intracoastal City to Cameron. There is also a tropical storm watch in effect East of the mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border.
Barry is slowly making its way westward, with a west-northwest turn predicted for later Friday evening.
Barry is expected to produce up to 15 inches of rain along the Gulf Coast through early next week, and up to 20 inches of rainfall across portions of eastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. Some isolated areas could be hit with a maximum of 25 inches.
The storm is forecasted to bring up to 15 inches of rain along the Gulf Coast, with up to 20 inches of rain along some parts of eastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.
Graham said storm surge warnings were in effect for major portions of Louisiana’s coast, noting that strong winds will push water into those areas, particularly south of Lafayette. Other parts of the coast are expected to receive 3 to 6 feet of storm surge. He added that the winds’ impact is expected to be felt Friday night into Saturday morning, and that residents who do not evacuate are at risk from flash flooding.
“You have to be careful with that,” he emphasized. “[In] the last three years 83% of fatalities [from] these tropical systems has been inland flooding. Listen to local officials, when you start getting these road closures, don’t move the barricades… don’t drive into that water. Let’s try to prevent these fatalities.”
What are the flooding risks?
There are 295 levee systems constructed throughout Louisiana, protecting much of the coastline, New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and north along the Mississippi River, forming 3,179 miles of levees.
After levees failed to protect New Orlean’s during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, billions of dollars was spent to make adjustments like adding height, planting vegetation as reinforcement and adding barriers to Lake Pontchartrain, along which every flood gate has been closed. Tropical Storm Barry will be the first test to see if the levee adjustments hold up.
According to the Associated Press, Gov. Edward is not worried about rivers rising higher than the levees, and has said the system is “stronger than ever.” But said changes in the storm’s path and intensity could change that, and “you never know what Mother Nature is going to serve until she has served it,” he cautioned Friday.
Here is the latest 10 PM CDT update from the NHC on Tropical Storm #Barry
Barry has changed little and still has max sustained winds of 65 mph. Landfall is still expected early tomorrow morning.
— NWS New Orleans (@NWSNewOrleans) July 13, 2019
There are several flood warnings to the north of New Orleans, along the Mississippi river, already seeing flooding 10+ feet above flood stage. Probably not all but at least some variance = arriving volume being lower than expected due to breaches upstream? #Bestcase pic.twitter.com/PAMMHDmahj
— Michael Watkins (@watkinstrack) July 13, 2019
What is predicted in New Orleans?
New Orleans, which has already been drenched by up to 9 inches of rain from a previous storm, faces more heavy rainfall and potential flash flooding.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning and a tropical storm warning for the city, as well as a storm surge watch and a flash flood watch. The forecast also calls for several rounds of showers and storms through the weekend that are expected to bring 10 to 20 inches of rain, which may lead to flash flooding.
The National Hurricane Center said the rapid rise in small streams and creeks in the area will result in flooding on some rivers and rapid ponding of water that may overwhelm local drainage capacities due to excessive rainfall. The AP also reports Mayor Cantrell has said the city’s pumping system may not be able to drain water faster than the rain pours down.
Megan Williams, meteorologist with the National Weather Service New Orleans, says that the worst is set to come Friday overnight into Saturday morning. Williams tells TIME that residents should expect up to 3 inches of rain in New Orleans Friday “and then really overnight into tomorrow it’s going to really ramp up as the storm moves through.”
According to Williams, Baton Rouge and New Orleans are especially under risk because of heavy rainfall. Of New Orleans specifically, “half of the city is under high risk, half is under a moderate risk,” she says. Because of the elevation they’re [both] prone to flash flooding.”
Residents and local news outlets began sharing videos and photos of waterlogged streets, hotel lobbies and cars on Wednesday.
A lot of New Orleans was underwater this morning (and a lot of it still is). Some people broke out kayaks, others were forced to abandon cars in another episode of flooding.
How things happened this morning: https://t.co/alFEYwA81z
See full thread of updates below this tweet ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/3bcZkKlLuh
— NOLA.com (@NOLAnews) July 10, 2019
— NOLA.com (@NOLAnews) July 13, 2019
A storm surge of 3 to 6 feet is expected from the mouth of the Pearl River just east of New Orleans to Intracoastal City, south of Lafayette. The storm surge warning has been extended westward to Intracoastal City.
How are people in the storm’s path getting ready?
“No one should take this storm lightly,” Gov. Edwards told Louisianans in a press conference earlier this week. “This is going to be a significant weather event, and if you haven’t already done so, the time to prepare is now,” he added on Twitter.
“As we know all too well in Louisiana, low intensity does not necessarily mean low impact. Now is the time to check your emergency supplies and get a game plan for your family and pets. I urge the public to continue monitoring local media for weather developments and follow the directions of local officials,” Edwards said in a statement. An emergency order is currently scheduled to be in place until Aug. 8.
They made the right call. They chose to turn around instead of attempting to drive through floodwaters.
Even if it's a route you've driven a million times before, and you think you know how deep the water is, it's impossible to know what lies beneath murky floodwaters.#Barry pic.twitter.com/VnZ2Bxp6C5
— National Weather Service (@NWS) July 12, 2019
credit: In part with https://time.com/5624030/barry-hurricane-tropical-storm-louisiana/