The National Weather Service said Saturday morning that Tropical Storm Barry was now Hurricane Barry, a category 1 storm, heading toward land. But when it arrived early Saturday afternoon, near Intracoastal City, it was quickly downgraded to Tropical Storm status again, with 65 MPH sustained winds and expected 85 MPH gusts. Barry is expected to bring far more rain than wind. Forecasters say two or more feet of rain is expected and rain will fall where flooding has previously been an issue, the NWS says. Inland flooding was a big concern.
And in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, flooding led a displaced baby gator into a confrontation with a pair of dogs in a garage. The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness tweet assured folks that no animal was injured.
Saturday the National Hurricane Center said it expects storm surge inundation along the coast of southern and Southeastern Louisiana, portions of Lake Pontchartrain, and portions of coastal Mississippi where a storm surge warning is in effect. Water levels have already begun to rise in these areas, the NHC said in its 10 a.m. forecast update, “with peak inundation expected to occur later today. The highest storm surge inundation is expected between Intracoastal City and Shell Beach. And flooding reports were coming in from several areas.
As of Friday evening, some four million people are under a tropical alert. The Weather Channel reported “disastrous” flooding is possible, per the National Hurricane Center’s alerts. New Orleans called for voluntary evacuations for people who live in areas outside the levees, asked residents to be indoors by 8 p.m., and shelter in place as the city suspended public transit. The Mississippi River is expected to crest at 17 feet in New Orleans on Saturday, though “levees protect up to 20 feet.”
Saturday morning, the US Army Corps of Engineers said, “Storm Surge Warning continues for Intracoastal City to Biloxi, and Lake Pontchartrain. Life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland during the next 36 hours in indicated locations.”
Still, the flood gates along the Big Mud were closed.