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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Barry Hitting Louisiana as a Category 1 Hurricane, Testing Flood Gates

Tropical Storm Barry reached hurricane status this morning with Category 1 winds peaking at 75 mph, dangerous storm surge and heavy rains pounding the north-central Gulf Coast.

In an update at 10 a.m. Central time, the National Hurricane Center said that a hurricane warning is in effect for Intracoastal City to Grand Isle and a tropical storm warning is in effect for Mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas including metropolitan New Orleans, and Intracoastal City to Sabine Pass.

“Barry is moving toward the northwest near 6 mph (9 km/h), and a turn toward the north-northwest is expected tonight, followed by a turn toward the north on Sunday. On the forecast track, the center of Barry will move through southern Louisiana today, into central Louisiana tonight, and into northern Louisiana on Sunday,” the NHC said.

“Maximum sustained winds are now near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. As it moves inland, Barry is forecast to weaken below hurricane strength in the next few hours, and it is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression on Sunday.”

Barry is expected to dump 10 to 20 inches over south-central and southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches. Tornadoes are also possible tonight across southeast Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and southern Alabama.

The Louisiana Department of Health warned of flooding dangers, stating in an alert that, among other perils, “venomous snakes, alligators, leeches, ants and mosquitoes are all potentially threatening creatures that you may encounter during a flood.”

The Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority said that this is the first time since the construction of Louisiana’s flood control system that all the gates around New Orleans are closed.

“As of 8:00 a.m. this morning. There have been NO levee failures in Plaquemines Parish. There are isolated issues of flooding that state and local officials anticipated and are actively addressing,” the CPRA tweeted today amid reports that the levees had been breached.

“Residents are reminded that, due to the sudden nature of rain-related floods, not all flooded roadways will be marked and that local emergency resources may be under strain,” said Louisiana’s State Emergency Operations Center. “It is very important to exercise extreme caution around floodwater.”

Louisiana Activates Emergency Plans to Face Tropical Storm Barry

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