Sorority convention in New Orleans cut short by Barry

ABC Action News tracks tropical developments in the Atlantic

Tropical Storm Barry is maintaining its strength as it moves toward Louisiana, where it threatens to bring heavy rains and flooding.

The Mississippi River is already running abnormally high because of heavy spring rains and snowmelt upstream, and the ground around New Orleans is soggy because of an 8-inch drenching on Wednesday. Drinking water was lined up, and utility crews with bucket trucks moved into position. Also, the Mississippi River has been flooding. And because it's a very slow-moving system which could stay in the area longer than usual, authorities are warning residents to brace for serious rainfall and widespread flooding, posing a huge potential test of New Orleans' flood defenses.

"We might have four or five times as much warming over the coming century as the last, so these kinds of weather events are likely to get much, much worse", said Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist and professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University.

A hurricane warning was in effect along the Louisiana coast, with forecasters predicting landfall as a hurricane by early Saturday.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said pockets of Louisiana could have as much as 25 inches (63 centimeters) of rain.

Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards said at an afternoon news conference: "Nobody should take this storm lightly just because it's supposed to be a category 1 when it makes landfall".


National Weather Service meteorologist Benjamin Schott warned a news conference: "Tropical Storm Barry is a risky and life-threatening storm".

Mayor David Camardelle ordered a voluntary evacuation of the island on July 10 at 3 p.m., and that order was upgraded to mandatory by 8:30 a.m. the next morning.

However, the city did not plan to order evacuations because Barry was so close and because it was not expected to grow into a major hurricane.

The front will stall to our south keeping a chance for a stray shower or two in the forecast.

President Donald Trump declared a federal emergency for Louisiana, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate relief efforts. Still, he said he wasn't too concerned about his house.

Officials canceled a Sunday night concert by the Rolling Stones. Throughout the city, motorists left cars parked on the raised median strips of roadways hoping the extra elevation would protect them from flood damage. The work included repairs and improvements to some 350 miles (560 kilometers) of levees and more than 70 pump stations that are used to remove floodwaters.

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