7 things to know about Tropical Storm Barry

Barry forms in Gulf, could become hurricane

By Michelle Ganley - Graham Media Group

Image: weather.gov/NOAA

Tropical Storm Barry is now threatening to blow ashore as a hurricane, packing drenching rains "that could test the flood-control improvements made in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina 14 years ago," the Associated Press said Thursday.

The tropical storm formed off the coast of Louisiana earlier in the day.

So, what's there to know about Barry? We'll fill you in.

1.) It could arrive Friday.

This would be the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, and forecasters are saying it could hit Louisiana's southern tip, with the biggest danger posed not by the wind but by downpours that could go on for hours, according to the AP.

2.) Is this foreshadowing? One storm got pretty crazy on Wednesday.

With the gathering storm still out over the Gulf of Mexico, it dumped as much as 8 inches on metro New Orleans in just three hours.

The deluge triggered flash flooding and raised fears about the even heavier rains en route.

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3.) This could be bad for the Mississippi River.

The storm could dump even more water into the Mississippi, and it's possible that water will spill over the levees, forecasters told the AP.

The river has been running high for months.

4.) Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared an emergency.

Edwards said National Guard troops and high-water vehicles will be positioned all over the state.

“The entire coast of Louisiana is at play in this storm,” he warned.

New Orleans officials asked people to keep at least three days of supplies on hand and to keep their neighborhood storm drains clear so water can move quickly, according to the AP report.

5.) Evacuation orders have begun.

Although officials don't believe levees all over the state will overtop, they do seem to be worried about some areas. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for people living near the Mississippi River at Louisiana’s southeastern tip.

6.) Some early predictions ...

The National Weather Service said it expects the river to rise to 19 feet by Saturday morning at a key gauge in the New Orleans area, which is protected by levees 20 to 25 feet high.

Louisiana could see up to 12 inches of rain by Monday, with isolated areas receiving as much as 18 inches.

7.) People seem to be on edge.

When New Orleans got that rain storm Wednesday, with floodwaters invading downtown hotels and businesses and turning streets into rivers, some people were even spotted in kayaks. Rush-hour traffic was stalled, as were cars -- literally.

The AP reports, "As the water from Wednesday morning’s storms receded, people worried about what might come next. Tanya Gulliver-Garcia was trying to make her way home during the deluge. Flooded streets turned a 15-minute drive into an ordeal lasting more than two hours."

Yikes.

“This is going to be a slow storm,” Gulliver-Garcia told the AP. “That’s what I’m concerned about.”

 

Facts, figures and details from the AP and NWS.  Reporters Chevel Johnson and Janet McConnaughey contributed to this report.

Graham Media Group/The Associated Press