Tropical Storm Barry threatens Louisiana oil rigs

Tropical Storm Barry threatens Louisiana oil rigs

But Mayor LaToya Cantrell said 48 hours of heavy downpours could overwhelm pumps created to purge streets and storm drains of excess water.

City officials issued a storm warning earlier in the day, asking people "to stay at home and shelter in place". "We are continuing to monitor heavy rainfall, storm surge, and levels of the Mississippi River".

Barry is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane by Friday night before making landfall somewhere around southern Louisiana either Friday night or early Saturday, according to the Hurricane Center.

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.

New Orleans officials asked people to keep at least three days of supplies on hand and to keep their neighborhood storm drains clear so water can move quickly. "We could get heavy rainfall for up to 48 hours", said Cantrel.

"We can not pump our way out of the water levels. that are expected to hit the city of New Orleans", she warned.

"Record flooding will be possible".

The Mississippi is expected to crest Saturday at about 5.8m in New Orleans, where the levees protecting the city range from about 6m to 7.5m in height.

Weakening is expected after Barry moves inland.

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"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.

In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell says via Twitter, "High water vehicles and boats are pre-staged around the city should water rescues be necessary".

The chance of overtopping levees seemed greater farther downstream, where the levee walls are lower.

An SUV travels down Breakwater Drive in New Orleans near the Orleans Marina as water moves in from Lake Pontchartrain from the storm surge from Tropical Storm Barry.

States of emergency have been declared in the Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines and St. Charles parishes, with mandatory evacuations ordered in Jefferson and Plaquesmine parishes.

Gulliver-Garcia worries about people with limited options and without the means to evacuate, she said, adding that she knows people across the country who would take her in at a moment's notice.

City residents were asked to remain indoors after 8 p.m. on Friday.

"Everything I own is in it", he said of his truck.

"If all the predictions come true, we're going to see major street flooding", Gumpert said. This is a good test of what they have accomplished since Katrina.