As tropical storm Barry's wind and rain gather strength and starting to hit the southeast region of Louisiana, New Orleans and coastal communities are bracing themselves for what is expected to be the first hurricane of the season.
A hurricane warning is in effect along the Louisiana coast—the Intracoastal City and Grand Isle. Weather forecasters say the storm could make landfall as a hurricane by early Saturday.
[John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana]: "We're anticipating a Category 1 hurricane at landfall, which at this time we believe will be Saturday morning, and will be in the central coastal area in and around Morgan City…"
President Donald J. Trump has issued a federal declaration of emergency for the state of Louisiana on Thursday night.
National Weather Service Meteorologist, Benjamin Schott, on late Friday afternoon issues a last minute warning. "It is a dangerous and life-threatening storm. It will probably be a hurricane when it makes landfall on the Louisiana coastline as we get into tomorrow morning. Heavy rainfall will be possible. …
The biggest threat Barry poses is not the wind but the storm water from the rainfall that can cause unprecedented flooding.
[John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana]: "This is going to be a major weather event for a huge portion of the state of Louisiana. And the more information we get, the more concerned we are, it's going to be an extreme rain event for a large portion of the state. Rainfall totals of 10 to 15 inches are possible and with locally higher amounts expected in some areas on an isolated basis. The heaviest rainfall will likely occur Friday through Sunday morning."
The storm water also expects to pose a huge test for New Orleans' improved post-Katrina flood defenses.
In New Orleans, as gusty wind approaches, residents prepare and brace themselves for Barry’s arrival.