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 .

Today’s Top Stories

Weather

Hurricane Ian survivor Hope Labriola waited for help as her home filled with water. Photo credit: H...
Caroll Alvarado, CNN

‘I can’t do this’: Fort Myers Beach woman calls for help as Hurricane Ian’s storm surge floods her home

A Fort Myers Beach woman called for help as the storm surge from Hurricane Ian.
13 hours ago
A downed power line near a road is pictured in Puerto Rico....
Aimee Cobabe

Puerto Rico still needs helps, the Red Cross says

The Red Cross said it’s difficult to get help to everyone in Puerto Rico right now because many areas are still recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017.
2 days ago
Sprinkler watering lawn pictured. Drought water conservation made improvements this year....
Chris Jacobs

Water levels indicate that Utah’s water conservation efforts are working

The Division of Water Resources reported that drought conditions are lower than last year and water conservation has maintained consistent water levels.
2 days ago
Damage from Hurricane Ian...
ADRIANA GOMEZ-LICON Associated Press

Ian returns to hurricane status, meanwhile floods trap many in Florida

Hours after weakening to a tropical depression while crossing the Florida peninsula, Ian regained hurricane strength Thursday evening after emerging over the Atlantic Ocean.
3 days ago
People at the BYU game in Florida dealing with rain....
Adam Small

Chance of thunderstorms Thursday could affect BYU game

BYU faced difficult weather during its game in Florida, and now the weather might be messing with tonight's game against the Aggies.
3 days ago
Utahns head to Florida to aid in relief from Hurricane Ian....
Aubri Wuthrich

Utahns volunteer with American Red Cross to aid hurricane evacuees in Florida

The American Red Cross has volunteers on the ground in Florida to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Gulf Coast keeps guard up as Barry continues drenching