Tropical Storm Barry Creeps Closer As Gulf Coast Prepares To Be Drenched
13 Juillet, 2019, 02:49 | Auteur: Therese Cote
Tropical Storm Barry, which is expected to flood New Orleans and threaten lives along the Mississippi River in the United States, is being fueled by warmth in the Gulf of Mexico that was likely exacerbated by climate change, scientists said on Friday.
Barry's sustained winds Friday were 65 mph, per Accuweather; when its winds hold at 75 mph or more, the storm will be classified as a hurricane. More than 800,000 people are now under a hurricane warning.
Mandatory evacuations were imposed in flood-prone coastal areas of two neighboring parishes south of the city.
President Donald Trump on Thursday night declared a federal declaration of emergency for Louisiana, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.
In 2005, 50 of the New Orleans levees failed during Hurricane Katrina.
Barry was expected to arrive as a weak hurricane, just barely over the119kmh windspeed threshold.
"Barry is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches over southeast Louisiana and southwest MS, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches", the National Hurricane Center says.
"The water over land actually helps the storm", Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, a federally funded office, said about the double-whammy.
Tropical Storm Barry continues to become better organized as it tracks slowly toward the west at 3 miles per hour. "Major to. record flooding will be possible".
A coastal storm surge into the mouth of the MS is expected to push its crest to 19 feet (5.79 m) in New Orleans on Saturday, the highest level since 1950 and dangerously close to the top of the city's levees.
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New Orleans flooding: Will the Mississippi River flood New Orleans when Storm Barry hits?
"There is no system in the world that can handle that amount of rainfall in such a short period", Cantrell said on Twitter.
"If it's worse than the other day, it'd be the worst week since Katrina", said musician Robert Harris, 61, polishing his trombone while sitting in a folding chair on a sidewalk.
New Orleans' system of pumps, underground pipes and canals were overwhelmed by rains earlier this week, but Edwards said Thursday that under current forecast models, the Mississippi River is not expected to overtop the river levee.
About 10,000 people in Plaquemines Parish on Louisiana's low-lying southeastern tip were ordered evacuated on Thursday. "It's a really powerful river", said Nadia Jenkins of New Orleans.
All over town, people parked their cars on the city's medians - referred to around here as "neutral grounds" - in hopes their vehicles would be safe on the slightly elevated strips.
City residents were asked to remain indoors after 8 p.m. on Friday.
Larry Gumpert, the 74-year-old owner of a pest-control company, said he planned to hunker down at home, cooking and catching up on household chores.
Hurricane warnings are up for most of the Louisiana coast as the weather system has already brought risky storm surge, heavy rains and gusty winds to cities.
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