After a brief period as the first hurricane of the season, Barry made landfall this Saturday off the coast of Louisiana and weakened back to tropical storm status while moving slowly toward New Orleans.
Its passage has caused a significant impact anyway, with thousands of evacuees, canceled flights and a general alert that still does not cease due to the possibility of more flooding due to heavy rains.
The mayor of New OrleansLaToya Cantrell called on residents and tourists to “stay tuned” during a news conference on Saturday. “We’re not out of the woods yet,” she said.
On the other hand, the governor of LouisianaJohn Bel Edwards also called on all state residents, including tens of thousands without power, to stay alert.
“I want to warn everyone that this is just the beginning,” Edwards said at a news conference.
Follow Barry’s arrival LIVE in this video:
Experts predict that Barry will make landfall this Saturday morning near Morgan City, as the first hurricane of the season, but the periphery of the storm was already making itself felt with fierce gales and downpours to the point that the streets near the coast were Underwater.
As of dawn Saturday, some 45,000 people in southern Louisiana were without power.
Although it is expected to be a relatively weak hurricane – with winds just above the necessary minimum of 119 kph (74 mph) – Barry threatens to cause devastating flooding along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Experts estimate that the worst damage will occur in Louisiana and parts of Mississippi, with as many as 3 million residents witnessing the heavy rains and fierce winds.
The American city of New Orleansin the state of Louisianaprepares for the imminent arrival of the tropical storm Barrywhich is expected to make landfall with hurricane force on Saturday morning, threatening to cause severe flooding throughout the region.
Follow Barry LIVE on this map:
The arrival of the storm, with sustained winds of 100 kilometers per hour and moving towards the coast at a speed of 7 kilometers per hour, according to data from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), has led the population prepare for impact and even consider leaving the area.
The governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, assured the population that the authorities are taking the situation “very seriously” and pointed out that, at the moment, more than 300 buses are available to citizens in case their evacuation is necessary. .
In fact, the international airport of New Orleans, a city devastated in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, woke up today with large queues generated by the cancellation of some flights and by the anxiety of numerous passengers due to the imminent arrival of the tropical storm.
The situation has led the Louis Armstrong Airport authorities to ask travelers to manage any itinerary change through the internet or the airlines themselves, in order to avoid the congestion that the place is suffering.
“Check the status of your flight with your airline before coming to the airport. And arrive early, the queues may be longer than usual,” the Louis Armstrong managers warned through a Twitter message.
In a second message, the airport urged passengers to check the flymsy.com portal for updated information on possible cancellations and notices.
“You see huge queues for some of the airlines and a lot of people coming to the airport to try and change their flights in person,” Louis Armstrong spokeswoman Erin Burns said in a statement echoed by local media.
Louisiana in a state of emergency
the president of USA, Donald Trumpdeclared a state of emergency late Thursday for the state of Louisianahours after 50% of the region’s crude production was suspended and companies evacuated workers from refinery facilities on the coast.
tropical storm Barry It had maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour on Friday morning.
Authorities were keeping an eye on the city’s levee system built to prevent flooding from the Mississippi River, which runs through the heart of New Orleans and has been raising its water level above the flood threshold for the past six months.
It is expected that Barry raise the tide at the mouth of the Mississippi River and raise the water level by up to 5.9 meters on Saturday, lower than initially forecast but still the highest volume since 1950 and too dangerous for the city’s levees.
Meteorologists forecast between 250 and 500 millimeters of rain in much of the US coast of the Gulf of Mexico on Friday and Saturday.
The center of the storm would just brush the western edge of New Orleans instead of hitting it directly. The Governor of LouisianaJohn Bel Edwards warned: “The more information we receive, the more concerned we are about extreme torrential rains occurring”.
On Wednesday the mayor of New OrleansLaToya Cantrell, warned via Twitter to the residents of the city that “review their supply plans and kits and be alert to the latest forecasts”.
“The center of Barry It will be near the central or southeastern coast of Louisiana on Friday night or Saturday.”, the NHC forecast in its bulletin on Thursday at 15:00 GMT. He also estimated an intensification of the storm during the next day or two.
The region not only faces significant flooding but also the possibility of the swollen Mississippi River overtopping the levees.
An officer of the Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans he expressed concern about the city’s south levees, but told CBS News there appeared to be little risk.
On Wednesday, officials announced that 118 bombs planted throughout the town were operating at “optimal capacity.”
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the deadliest and costliest hurricane in the history of USA, flooded 80% of the American city. Remembered for the devastation it caused in New OrleansKatrina also hit other parts of the state of Louisiana such as Mississippi and Alabama, leaving 1,800 dead in its wake and causing more than $150 billion in damage.
– The first hurricane? –
If the storm becomes a hurricane, as planned, it will be the first of the season – which runs from June to November – in the Atlantic.
More than 16,500 customers were without power Thursday morning, energy provider Entergy Louisiana said.
Meanwhile, crews from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development were erecting barriers and clearing ditches and other debris ahead of the impending deluge.
The area from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Cameron, Louisiana, is on a hurricane alert. On the other hand, the area from the mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City, also in Louisiana, is on a tropical storm alert.
It is foreseen that Barry – which has already caused significant flooding – dropped between 25 and 38 centimeters of rain, reaching 50 centimeters in some areas, the NHC said.
In the streets you can already see some inhabitants walking with water up to their calves and others cleaning the debris that the floods have left in their gardens.
Gulf oil rigs and gas operators were evacuated Thursday, the US Office of Environmental Safety and Enforcement announced.
The town hall of New Orleans and Loyola University were closed, as well as other educational facilities. Additionally, schools in Jefferson County Parish are scheduled to close on Friday.
Mandatory evacuations took place in Jefferson and Plaquemines counties, and there were other voluntary evacuations on the populated barrier island Grand Isle, the NOLA.com web news reported.