Barry started as nothing more than a cluster of clouds that were a part of a low-pressure system. He officially formed into a tropical storm late Friday afternoon. Rain bands started moving in along the coast of Louisiana during the evening hours on Friday. Unfortunately, Assumption Parish and New Orleans appear to be among the areas that could take the brunt of the storm. Streets flooded only a few days before Barry was even named because of recent rains in Nebraska and other Midwest states since the runoff from the smaller rivers flows into the Mississippi River.
Early Saturday morning, July 13, Barry strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane. Many people in Louisiana fear that the levees won’t hold under the several inches of rain that are expected to fall during the storm. The winds aren’t a big factor with this storm. Since Barry has had time to sit in the Gulf of Mexico for several hours, it has become a hurricane with a massive amount of water that is pushing up toward the New Orleans area.
Thousands of residents are without power in areas where Barry is expected to make landfall. Although there has been just a slight shift to the west, the storm is still expected to make a significant impact all along the coast of Louisiana. The Coast Guard has been called in to offer help when it’s needed. Unfortunately, members of the Coast Guard have had to make a few residential rescues because of the rising waters. The storm is expected to make landfall sometime late Saturday evening, churning through New Orleans and the rest of the state throughout Saturday night. Evacuation orders have been put in place. Residents who have stayed behind are keeping an eye on the water as it rises to see if the levees will indeed hold.