BATON ROUGE (The Advertiser, La.) — Tropical Storm Barry could dump more than 2 feet of rain in less than 24 hours in isolated areas, which Gov. John Bel Edwards expects to cause “life-threatening” flooding, but New Orleans’ levees shouldn’t be overtopped.
The storm is expected to make landfall as Category 1 Hurricane Barry early Saturday morning near Morgan City.
But the governor acknowledged there will be wind damage at the bulls-eye of landfall and tropical storm force winds may be felt as far north as Alexandria in the heart of central Louisiana.
“Nobody should take this storm lightly,” he said.
Edwards said no Mississippi River levees are forecast to be overtopped, which had earlier been a concern.
“That’s good news,” said Edwards, who said New Orleans is better prepared for the storm than in past decades because of “a huge investment of the American people” to strengthen the state’s flood control infrastructure since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
President Trump approved a federal emergency declaration for Louisiana Thursday night, which allows the state to access federal resources immediately.
“The president is committed to helping us,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who attended Friday’s briefing and press conference.
About 3,000 National Guard troops have been deployed from New Orleans to Baton Rouge to Acadiana with high water vehicles, boats and helicopters.