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USNew Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry

21:36  11 july  2019
21:36  11 july  2019 Source:   cnn.com

New Orleans just faced a flash flood emergency, and Barry could bring more severe flooding Saturday, testing levees

New Orleans just faced a flash flood emergency, and Barry could bring more severe flooding Saturday, testing levees The Mississippi River in New Orleans is forecast to crest at 20 feet, the same height as levees that protect the city.

New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry
New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry

Gallery by photo services

New Orleans' levees face a hard test as storm bears down

New Orleans' levees face a hard test as storm bears down Even as Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the Mississippi River's levees held up when those in other parts of the city did not. 

Tropical Storm Barry presents New Orleans with an unprecedented problem, according to the National Weather Service.

The Mississippi River, which is usually at 6 to 8 feet in midsummer in the Big Easy, is now at 16 feet, owing to record flooding that's taken place this year all along the waterway.

Meantime, Barry is cranking in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening a storm surge of 2 to 3 feet at the mouth of the river, said Jeffrey Graschel, a hydrologist with the weather service's Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, Louisiana.

The unusual confluence of factors adds up to a forecast that has the river cresting Saturday at 19 feet, a level not seen since February 1950 and about 2.3 feet shy of the record set in April 1922, the weather service said Thursday.

Follow the path of the storm with MSN’s hurricane tracker

New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry© Nick Reimann/AP People cope with the aftermath of severe weather in the Broadmoor neighborhood in New Orleans, Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (Nick Reimann/The Advocate via AP) "This is the first time we've had a tropical system with water levels on the river this high," he told CNN.

Memories of 2016 flood haunt Baton Rouge ahead of Barry

Memories of 2016 flood haunt Baton Rouge ahead of Barry Memories of an epic flood that caused billions of dollars in damage had Louisiana's capital on edge Friday as Barry gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico more than 150 miles (240 kilometers) away. Storms that dumped more than 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain across southeastern Louisiana three years ago left much of Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes under feet of muddy, putrid water. A dozen people died and more than 50,000 homes , businesses, churches and other structures were flooded.

The prediction is rattling the nerves of residents also concerned about the 10 inches of rain Barry could dump before it moves out, CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen said. That deluge would follow the 9 inches that fell Wednesday in New Orleans, flooding parts of the city.

Mandatory evacuations in at least 2 parishes

Barry, the first tropical system to hit the US this year, is moving slowly, the weather service said. Residents of the coast and in the lower Mississippi Valley could see heavy rainfall through the weekend and into early next week, with flash flooding, river flooding and storm surge likely.

States of emergency have been declared in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines and St. Charles parishes. Jefferson Parish and Plaquemines Parish have instituted mandatory evacuations as a precaution in low-lying areas or those outside major levees.

Officials are expected to close dozens of floodgates to help mitigate the risk of flooding, according to Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority East spokesman Antwan Harris, and FEMA has deployed personnel and supplies for staging in Louisiana and Texas, the agency said in a statement.

"Gulf Coast residents should prepare now for heavy rains, flooding and high wind impacts regardless of this storm's category," the FEMA statement said.

Coast Guard rescue underway to save 12 trapped in Terrebonne Parish

Coast Guard rescue underway to save 12 trapped in Terrebonne Parish The U.S. Coast Guard is mounting a rescue mission to save 12 people trapped in a coastal Louisiana community cut off by rising water from Tropical Storm Barry. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Sources tell Eyewitness News that four of the 12 individuals trapped on Isle de Jean Charles are elderly. The Coast Guard was preparing an air rescue but strong winds made the mission too dangerous Saturday morning.

In New Orleans, 118 of city 120 pumps that drain neighborhoods are in working order, Sewerage & Water Board spokeswoman Courtney Barnes told CNN. The two that aren't are relatively small, she said, and are at stations with other functioning pumps in the Lakeview area and New Orleans East.

Still, the system of pumps, underground pipes and canals is only designed to remove 1 inch of rainwater in the first hour of a storm and a half inch in subsequent hours. It simply could not keep up with Wednesday's downpour, Barnes said, noting that any system in the country would have been outpaced.

"There's no system designed to pump that capacity of rain," she said.

'The real storm hasn't event hit'

Some residents aren't taking any chances.

Dannie Davis of New Orleans will evacuate, she told CNN on Thursday. She was struck by the flooding Wednesday, "and the real storm hasn't even hit," she said.

"I haven't seen this much rain and flooding before a hurricane in awhile," she said. "Who knows what's to come and whether the city will be able to handle it."

Another resident, Claire Grogan, was also planning to evacuate, she said.

For 40 years she's lived in the French Quarter, mere blocks from the Mississippi River, she said, and has never been scared. Now, that's changed.

"The river is so high that I am just scared to stay," Grogan said, adding that as a business owner, she also wants her employees to have the chance to leave if they want to.

New Orleans faces a never-before-seen problem with Tropical Storm Barry© Matthew Hinton/AP David Fox makes a call on Wednesday, July 10, from his business on Poydras Street in New Orleans.
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All hurricane warnings dropped for Barry as system weakens, moves inland.
Barry has weakened back to tropical storm status after it hit the Louisiana coast as a hurricane, threatening millions with heavy rains and a strong storm surge. The National Hurricane Center said in its 4 p.m. Saturday advisory that Barry had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, with higher gusts. The storm center is located about 20 miles west-southwest of Layayette and 85 miles south of Alexandria. It was moving north-northwest at 7 mph. A hurricane warning for the Louisiana coast has been downgraded to a tropical storm warning. A tropical storm warning for the Louisiana coast has been discontinued east of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

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