USA – Coastal Flooding in Louisiana as Hurricane ‘Barry’ Makes Landfall

Hurricane ‘Barry’ made landfall near Intracostal City, Louisiana on 13 July, 2019, with maximum sustained winds of around 70 mph (115 km/h) but soon weakened into a tropical storm, and later a tropical depression.

Thousands of people were evacuated in risk areas of Louisiana in advance of the storm. All flights in and out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport on 13 July were cancelled. President Donald Trump declared a federal state of emergency in Louisiana before the storm hit.

Around 100,000 homes in the state were left without power. Some flooding was reported along parts of the Louisiana coastline in the parishes of Vermilion, Iberia, Saint Mary and Terrebonne, where US Coast Guard rescued 12 people from flood waters.

Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans helicopter aircrews rescued people near Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, as Hurricane Barry approached, 13 July, 2019. Coast Guard Personnel are staged around the surrounding areas prepared to respond to Hurricane Barry. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Lauren Jorgensen
U.S. Coast Guard District 8

Heavy rain had already caused flash flooding in parts of New Orleans on 10 July, 2019. The National Weather Service (NWS) warned there could be worse to come with the Mississippi River in New Orleans predicted to reach 20ft when storm Barry hits. This was later revised down to 17 feet as the storm moved closer.

Fortunately the storm’s anticipated tidal surge was weaker than first predicted and major flooding was avoided in the city this time. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said, “We absolutely made it through the storm. Beyond lucky, we were spared.”

The storm is still forecast to bring extreme rainfall to parts of Louisiana and states further inland, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The NHC warned that “life-threatening, significant flash flooding and river flooding” would become increasingly likely across areas of south and south-east Louisiana as the storm moved further inland.

“The slow movement of Barry will result in a long duration heavy rainfall and flood threat from Sunday into next week”, it said.

Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards said:

“The slow movement of this weather system means that it is far from over for our state. Everyone needs to remain vigilant and heed all warnings from their local leaders.

“Now is not the time to let your guard down. In addition to the rainfall, there has been increased tornadic activity and a continued chance for more flash flooding as well, especially in the Acadiana region.

“As we always remind everyone, avoid driving through high water at all costs, pay close attention to local weather updates and please do not take any unnecessary risks.”

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