WEATHER

Gulf Coast keeps guard up as Barry continues drenching

Jul 14, 2019, 10:34 AM
Tyler Holland guides his bike through the water as winds from Tropical Storm Barry push water from ...
Tyler Holland guides his bike through the water 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)
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tropical Storm Barry dumped rain as it slowly swept inland through Gulf Coast states Sunday, appearing to spare New Orleans a direct hit, but stoking fears elsewhere of flooding, uprooted trees, and prolonged power outages.

Mississippi’s capital city braced for possible flash flooding after up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain fell 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.

President Donald Trump asked people across the region to keep their guard up, saying on Twitter Sunday: “A big risk of major flooding in large parts of Louisiana and all across the Gulf Coast. Please be very careful!”

Forecasters warned of a continued threat of storm surge and heavy rains as the center of the storm trudged inland and rain bands along its back half moved onshore. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Sunday parts of south-central Louisiana could still have rainfall totals of up to 12 inches (30 centimeters), with isolated pockets of 15 inches (38 centimeters).

“This rainfall is expected to lead to dangerous, life-threatening flooding,” forecasters wrote in an advisory Sunday morning.

Still, the storm had not inundated New Orleans as feared. Forecasters downgraded rainfall estimates for the city through Sunday to between 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters). Earlier forecasts of quadruple that amount had raised concerns that water pumps strengthened after Hurricane Katrina would be overwhelmed. In a sign that the city was returning to normal, flights were resuming Sunday at its airport.

Around 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. 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, on Saturday, a spokeswoman said. Downpours also lashed coastal Alabama and Mississippi.

After briefly becoming a Category 1 hurricane, the system weakened to a tropical storm, the National Hurricane Center said. By Sunday morning, its maximum sustained winds had fallen to 40 mph (65 kph).

None of the main levees on the Mississippi River failed or were breached, and they were expected to hold up through the storm, Gov. John Bel Edwards said. But a levee in Terrebonne Parish was overtopped by water for part of the day, officials said.

About 125,000 customers in Louisiana and another 6,800 customers in Mississippi were without power Sunday, according to poweroutage.us.

Carrie Cuchens, who lost power at her home southeast of Lafayette, said crews were out working to remove trees that fell on power lines. Forecasters say the area could see 2 inches (5 centimeters) of additional rain on Sunday, but Cuchens didn’t think her or her neighbors’ homes would flood.

“There’s certainly water, certainly a lot of water, and as it continues to rain there’s always that concern,” she said.

She said that she, her husband and her adult daughter stocked up Friday on bread, water, and other food essentials ahead of the storm.

Another worry is that large trees could topple because of the saturated ground.

“If this rain sits on top of us, the ground of course now is already saturated,” she said. “The roots are so saturated that if any wind, or any kind of shift happens, they’re easier to come up out of the ground. It’s not snapping limbs – it’s the whole entire tree. We have 100-year-old trees back here.”

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.
___
Drew reported from Raleigh, North Carolina. Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Kevin McGill in New Orleans; Jay Reeves in Baton Rouge; Juan Lozano in Lafayette; Rogelio Solis in Morgan City; and Jeff Martin in Atlanta.
___
For the latest on Tropical Storm Barry, visit https://apnews.com/Hurricanes .

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Weather

A new study finds that reports of bad weather and air actually decrease ridership on the UTA....
Devin Oldroyd

Relief from inversion and poor air quality may be in Utah’s near future

The Beehive State is in the middle of some thick inversion and poor air quality, but relief may be on the way according to the National Weather Service.
1 day ago
PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA, USA - FEBRUARY 2: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Tuesday  morning 6 more wee...
Scottie Andrew, CNN

The bizarre history of Groundhog Day

So how did Groundhog Day go from a kooky local tradition to an annual celebration even those of us who don't worry about winter can find the fun in?
2 days ago
More Americans are struggling to pay their energy bills.  Nearly 1.5 million more U.S. households ...
Curt Gresseth

Cost of heating homes in Utah rising as thermometer sinks

The cost of heating a home in Utah is rising because demand has increased and the drought in the West has cut into production.
3 days ago
As temperatures in the state plummet far below zero, advocates with Unsheltered Utah built an unsan...
Devin Oldroyd

Unsheltered Utah opens warming tent for unhoused people to escape frigid temperatures

As temperatures in the state plummet far below zero, advocates with Unsheltered Utah built an unsanctioned makeshift warming tent Monday.
4 days ago
snow shovel driveway dialysis...
Mark Jones

Cold weather causes late start for Logan City School District Wednesday

The Logan City School District and the Cache County School District will be on two-hour late starts on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
4 days ago
The Central City Recreation Center at 615 South 300 East in Salt Lake City will be used as an emerg...
Simone Seikaly

Citing ‘dangerously low’ overnight temps, county opens emergency shelter

Volunteers are among the county and city workers helping provide emergency shelter for the homeless at the Central City Recreation Center.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Gulf Coast keeps guard up as Barry continues drenching