Barry’s slow march toward Arkansas leads to fears of flooding, tornadoes – USA TODAY
The U.S. Coast Guard said that a crew from Air Station New Orleans evacuated a number of people from flooded areas in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.
Barry movedÂ agonizingly slowly across Louisiana, expected to arriveÂ Monday in Arkansas, producing thunderstorms and torrents ofÂ rain that may cause widespread flooding.Â
Reclassified from a tropical storm to a tropical depression late Sunday afternoon, Barry’sÂ maximum sustained winds wereÂ at 35Â mph, and it wasÂ expected to weaken further as it moved northÂ at a leisurely 9 mph,Â according to the National Hurricane Center.
After making landfall Saturday, Barry moved toward Shreveport on Sunday. The hurricane center warnedÂ ofÂ flooding fromÂ Louisiana northward through the lower Mississippi Valley.
Three inches of rain fell in the predawn hours Sunday in Jackson, Mississippi, leading to concerns about rising water levelsÂ in the state’s capital city. With more rain pounding already devastatedÂ agricultural areas,Â MississippiÂ Gov. Phil Bryant called on the federal government to install pumps.Â
“The Mississippi River has been at flood stageÂ for 150 days,” Bryant said at a press conference.Â “This is a historical, disastrous flood and this is just making it worse.”
Barry wasÂ expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6Â to 12 inches over south-central Louisiana. In some places, rainfall could total 20Â inches,Â the hurricane center said.
The heavy rainfall could cause trees toÂ topple.
âThe roots are so saturated that if any wind, or any kind of shift happens, theyâre easier to come up out of the ground. Itâs not snapping limbs âÂ itâs the whole entire tree,â said Carrie Cuchens, who lost power at her home southeast of Lafayette, Louisiana.
In Morgan City, Louisiana, Lois and Steve Bergeron said the storm stirred up a lot of havoc in theÂ yard, but âat least it didnât hit our house,â LoisÂ said.
The hurricane center said tornadoes wereÂ possible across portionsÂ of southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, western Alabama, easternÂ ArkansasÂ and western Tennessee.
A police chief captured footage of flooding along a road in Golden Meadows, Louisiana as the Gulf Coast braces for Hurricane Barry.
Where is Barry now?Â Interactive storm tracker
AboutÂ 130,000Â Louisiana customers wereÂ without powerÂ at one point, before outagesÂ fell to about 88,000 late Sunday afternoon.
The good news:Â New Orleans’ levees held. The lower Mississippi River was opened to shipping Sunday morning, the Port of New Orleans said. Cruise ship arrivals and departures were expected to stay on schedule.
Barry made landfallÂ as a Category 1 Hurricane â the first hurricane of the season â near Intracoastal City, Louisiana, about 150 miles west of New Orleans. The storm entered the coast with sustained winds of up to 75 mph.
LouisianaÂ Gov. John Bel Edwards warned people to not “let their guard down,” despite Barry’s weakened state.
“My concern is people are going to bed thinking the worst is behind us, and that may not be the case,” he said at a news conference Saturday night.Â “It’s going to be a long few days,Â and there are going to be some significant challenges.”
Contributing: Lici Beveridge, Hattiesburg (Miss.) American; Greg Hilburn, The (Monroe, La.) News-Star; The Associated Press