The Louisiana coastline is bracing for Tropical Storm Barry and its estimated 25 inches of rainfall, which is expected to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday, though the conditions could start earlier. President Donald Trump has issued a federal declaration of emergency, which will allow the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to work together on disaster relief efforts, which is a good thing since Barry has sustained winds of 50 mph and could continue to strengthen all the way into a full-fledged hurricane. [h/t CBS News]
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards warned the state’s residents that it was going to be “a very significant, severe weather event and the National Weather Service, they’re using terms like ‘life-threatening floods.'” Obviously, all eyes are on the levees that famously failed to keep New Orleans from flooding during the catastrophic events of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Those levees have since been improved, and experts say they’re not concerned — though floodwaters may come as close to a foot below the levee line in some places.
“There are three ways that Louisiana can flood; storm surge, high rivers, and rain. We’re going to have all three,” said Bel Edwards.
People who live in low lying areas of New Orleans are stocking up for what could be a long haul, and residents of some parishes were even evacuating ahead of the storm.