Whether Tropical Storm Barry becomes a hurricane or not by the time it makes landfall early Saturday in Louisiana, residents are urged by weather officials to take it seriously.
Reports warn that Barry — the first tropical system to threaten the U.S. this year — poses a triple flooding risk to Louisiana via storm surge, high rivers and rain.
While New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell had not ordered evacuations by late Thursday, the city’s floodgate at 1489 Intracostal Drive had been closed and residents had takenmeasures to try to minimize damage from flood waters by boarding up store fronts and setting up storm barriers.
The storm is particularly pressing for New Orleans because the Mississippi River, which is usually at six to eight feet this time of year there, had swelled Thursday to at least 16 feet, with Barry threatening a storm surge of two to three feet. The storm could also amass as much as 10 inches of rain before it dissipates.