The disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico has formed into Tropical Storm Barry and is expected to bring storm surge, heavy rainfall and wind hazards to the Louisiana coast over the next several days, the National Hurricane Center reported Thursday in its 10 a.m. update. The projected track has shifted to the east and includes New Orleans.
The storm is moving slowly and is expected to result in days of heavy rainfall with possible hurricane conditions. It is expected to make landfall as a weak hurricane Saturday in Louisiana.
Flash flooding and river flooding are likely, especially along the eastern track of the system, which includes New Orleans.
A tropical storm warning and hurricane watch have been issued for much of the coast, and additional warnings and watches could be issued today.
The river flood height prediction has been lowered to 19 feet, just below the 20 feet that the river levees are designed to protect against. One low point is at the district headquarters along Leake Avenue near Prytania, but officials said they have added “Hesco baskets” to give extra height there.
“Right now our data and modeling does not forecast any overtopping,” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Thursday.
New Orleans residents are encouraged to “shelter in place,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell and other officials in a news conference late Thursday morning. Residents should have supplies and medicine in place for three days or more, and avoid driving on streets that have standing water.