Weakened but still potent, Barry inundated the Gulf Coast but appeared unlikely to deluge New Orleans as it continued its slow advance, though it brought fresh fears of flash flooding to Mississippi’s capital city Sunday morning.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Saturday night urged residents across south Louisiana to stay “vigilant,” warning that Barry could still cause disastrous flooding across a wide stretch of the Gulf Coast overnight.

“This storm still has a long way to go before it leaves this state,” Edwards said. “Don’t let your guard down.”

Lisa Keiffer stands in front of her store called The Candy Bank on Saturday, July 13, 2019, which is on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, in Mandeville, La. She and her husband raised a lot of their products or moved them to the back of the building, after waters from the lake threatened to get inside. (AP Photo/Rebecca Santana)
Lisa Keiffer stands in front of her store called The Candy Bank on Saturday, July 13, 2019, which is on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, in Mandeville, La. She and her husband raised a lot of their products or moved them to the back of the building, after waters from the lake threatened to get inside. (AP Photo/Rebecca Santana)

In Mississippi, up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain had already fallen in the Jackson area before dawn Sunday — and more was on the way. That prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning for the city and some of its suburbs.

New Orleans had been braced for heavy rains Saturday, but instead had intermittent bands of moderate showers and occasional sunshine.

Though Barry will continue to dump rain throughout the weekend, forecasters downgraded rainfall estimates for the city through Sunday to between 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters). Forecasters had earlier said New Orleans could get up to 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain, raising concerns that water pumps strengthened after Hurricane Katrina would be overwhelmed.

Martha Young, center, Patricia Plishka, left, and her husband Glen, right, battle the wind and rain from Hurricane Barry as it nears landfall Saturday, July 13, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Martha Young, center, Patricia Plishka, left, and her husband Glen, right, battle the wind and rain from Hurricane Barry as it nears landfall Saturday, July 13, 2019, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

National Weather Service forecaster Robert Ricks cautioned, however, that it was too early to say for certain that New Orleans was in the clear. “We’re about at the (halfway) mark of the marathon right now,” he said Saturday evening. Heavy rainfall from the storm would be concentrated overnight in a wide area centered around Lafayette, he said. The city is about 120 miles (193 kilometers) west of New Orleans.

Late Saturday night, authorities were trying to rescue a family of five who was trapped by high water in the south Louisiana town of Franklin, according to KTBS-TV . The National Guard had to halt its initial rescue mission because waters were too high to safely reach the family’s home. Franklin is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Lafayette.

In other parts of Louisiana on Saturday, Barry flooded highways, forced people to scramble to rooftops and dumped heavy rain, as it made landfall near Intracoastal City, about 160 miles (257 kilometers) west of New Orleans. Downpours also lashed coastal Alabama and Mississippi.

Barry Williams talks to a friend on his smartphone as he wades through storm surge from Lake Pontchartrain on Lakeshore Drive in Mandeville, La., as Hurricane Barry approaches Saturday, July 13, 2019.  After briefly becoming a Category 1 hurricane, the system quickly weakened to a tropical storm as it made landfall near Intracoastal City, Louisiana, about 160 miles (257km) west of New Orleans, with its winds falling to 70 mph (112km), the National Hurricane Center said.  (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Barry Williams talks to a friend on his smartphone as he wades through storm surge from Lake Pontchartrain on Lakeshore Drive in Mandeville, La., as Hurricane Barry approaches Saturday, July 13, 2019. After briefly becoming a Category 1 hurricane, the system quickly weakened to a tropical storm as it made landfall near Intracoastal City, Louisiana, about 160 miles (257km) west of New Orleans, with its winds falling to 70 mph (112km), the National Hurricane Center said. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

After briefly becoming a Category 1 hurricane, the system weakened to a tropical storm, the National Hurricane Center said. By early Sunday, its maximum sustained winds had fallen to 45 mph (72 kph), the National Hurricane Center said in its latest briefings.

In Mandeville, a city on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain across from New Orleans, storm surge and choppy waters sent waves pushing over the seawall and into nearby communities. Dozens of people waded through knee-high water to take a look at the pounding surf.

Roughly a block away, water was covering Lisa Keiffer’s front yard and the road in front of her house. It wasn’t in danger of going in the house, where Keiffer has lived for 22 years, but she was worried about her nearby business. She and her husband own The Candy Bank — a candy store a few blocks away in the lakefront community featuring homemade fudge, jars filled with gummy bears, chocolate-covered espresso beans and other candies.

A man stands in floodwaters at Don'z On the Lake as Tropical Storm Barry's winds push water over the Lake Pontchartrain seawall Saturday, July 13, 2019. (David Grunfeld/The Advocate via AP)
A man stands in floodwaters at Don’z On the Lake as Tropical Storm Barry’s winds push water over the Lake Pontchartrain seawall Saturday, July 13, 2019. (David Grunfeld/The Advocate via AP)

Earlier Saturday the lake’s waters were lapping at the door, forcing her and her husband to scramble to raise everything off the floor.

“The problem with slow-moving storms or even tropical storms around this area is that it’s unpredictable,” she said. “It’s very stressful because you don’t know if you’re going to flood, so you go all through the trouble of picking things up, raising things, moving things, and then it looks like it’s not going to flood, and then 10 minutes later it looks like it’s going to flood.”

Elsewhere, Coast Guard helicopters rescued a dozen people and two pets from flooded areas of Terrebonne Parish, south of New Orleans, some of them from rooftops, a spokeswoman said. Those rescued included a 77-year-old man who called for help because he had about 4 feet (1.2 meters) of water in his home.

This photo shows the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Closure Complex, Saturday, July 13, 2019 in Belle Chasse, La. It  is the largest pumping station in the world and as is part of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West and the West Jefferson (Parish) and Algiers Levee District serving the residents of West Bank of the Greater New Orleans. The 11 pumps are being started because of anticipated rain from Hurricane Barry. The 11 pumps at full capacity pump 8.6 million gallons per minute, which would fill up the Superdome in 110 minutes and would fill an Olympic-size swimming in 3.5 seconds. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
This photo shows the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Closure Complex, Saturday, July 13, 2019 in Belle Chasse, La. It is the largest pumping station in the world and as is part of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West and the West Jefferson (Parish) and Algiers Levee District serving the residents of West Bank of the Greater New Orleans. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

None of the main levees on the Mississippi River failed or were breached, and they were expected to hold up through the storm, Edwards said. But a levee in Terrebonne Parish was overtopped by water for part of the day, officials said. Video also showed water getting over a second levee in Plaquemines Parish, where fingers of land extend deep into the Gulf of Mexico. Terrebonne Parish ordered an evacuation affecting an estimated 400 people.

In some places, residents continued to build defenses against rising water. At the edge of the town of Jean Lafitte just outside New Orleans, volunteers helped several town employees sandbag a 600-foot (180-meter) stretch of the two-lane state highway.

“I’m here for my family, trying to save their stuff,” volunteer Vinnie Tortorich said. “My cousin’s house is already under.”

After briefly becoming a Category 1 hurricane, Barry weakened to a tropical storm as it made landfall ;
After briefly becoming a Category 1 hurricane, Barry weakened to a tropical storm as it made landfall ;

Many businesses were also shut down or closed early in Baton Rouge, and winds were strong enough to rock large pickup trucks. Ricks said forecasters also downgraded their rainfall estimates for Baton Rouge to between 6 and 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters) through Sunday, with up to 15 inches (38 centimeters) in some spots.

Oil and gas operators evacuated hundreds of platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 140,000 customers in Louisiana and another more than 4,000 customers in Mississippi were without power early Sunday, according to poweroutage.us.

As the Atchafalaya River continues to rise due to the rains of Tropical Storm Barry, it becomes harder to see the Morgan City name on the sea wall, Saturday, July 13, 2019 in Morgan City, La. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
As the Atchafalaya River continues to rise due to the rains of Tropical Storm Barry, it becomes harder to see the Morgan City name on the sea wall, Saturday, July 13, 2019 in Morgan City, La. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Barry was expected to continue weakening and become a tropical depression Sunday, moving over Arkansas on Sunday night and Monday. But forecasts showed the storm on a path toward Chicago that would swell the Mississippi River basin with water that must eventually flow south again.

In Alabama on Saturday, flooding closed some roads in low-lying areas of Mobile County in Alabama, and heavy rains contributed to accidents, said John Kilcullen, director of plans and operations for Mobile County Emergency Management Agency.

Authorities closed floodgates and raised water barriers around New Orleans. It was the first time since Katrina that all floodgates in the New Orleans area had been sealed.

Brady Dayries is hit by a wave as winds from Tropical Storm Barry push water from Lake Pontchartrain over the seawall Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Mandeville, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Brady Dayries is hit by a wave as winds from Tropical Storm Barry push water from Lake Pontchartrain over the seawall Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Mandeville, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)