Barry strengthens to a hurricane: Storm is expected to bring two FEET of rain as it makes landfall sparking authorities to cancel all flights out of New Orleans and issue ‘life threatening flood’ warnings while 62,000 lose power

Saturday, July 13, 2019
By Paul Martin

Heavy rains and gusty winds knocked out power on the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Barry approaches the Louisiana Coast, with forecasters predicting disastrous flooding and damage in New Orleans
Authorities ramped up evacuations and flood gates were slammed shut as residents stocked up on supplies
All major airlines announced that they were cancelling flights in and out of New Orleans Airport on Saturday
Forecasters said rain poses the greatest danger as the state experiences a long, slow and thorough drenching
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued more than a dozen people stranded on a remote Louisiana island by flooding
More than 70,000 people in Louisiana and Mississippi lost power, as some roads were left underwater in in coastal Mississippi and Alabama
The level of the Mississippi River was at nearly 17 feet in New Orleans, just below flood stage and could rise
The total damage and economic loss caused by Tropical Storm Barry is expected to reach $8 to $10 billion

13 July 2019

Millions of residents braced for Hurricane Barry on Saturday morning as heavy rainfall and gusty winds knocked out power on the Gulf Coast, caused widespread flooding and led to flight cancellations.

Officials predicted Barry would make landfall as this year’s first hurricane near Morgan City, west of New Orleans, and brought torrential downpours in coastal cities and tornado warnings in Mississippi.

The weather event was upgraded to Category 1 Hurricane status by officials at 11 am, as all flights in and out of Louis Armstrong International Airport were cancelled, with winds reaching 76 mph and becoming stronger throughout the day.

Hurricane-force winds were measured some 45 miles to the east of the storm’s center, which was located 40 miles south of Lafayette, Louisiana.

Landfall predictions were pushed back from sunrise to late morning or early afternoon, as the hurricane crawled across the Gulf Coast at about 5mph, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said early Saturday.

‘This is a life-threatening situation,’ the National Hurricane Center said, noting that storm surge could bring 3 to 6 feet of water inland to an area from the mouth of the Atchafalaya River, some 60 miles south of Baton Rouge, to Shell Beach 20 miles southeast of New Orleans.

National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham said Barry is gathering ‘a big slough of moisture’ just off the central Louisiana coast and is taking its time to come ashore Saturday morning, meaning “a lot of rain is on the way.”

Graham delivered a storm update using Facebook Live from the hurricane center, where he pointed to a computer screen showing a big swirling mass of airborne water. ‘That is just an amazing amount of moisture. That is off the chart.’

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