BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Hurricane Barry made landfall in south Louisiana and was downgraded to a Tropical Storm during a statewide briefing early Saturday afternoon.
The National Hurricane Center says the storm arrived on land Saturday afternoon near Intracoastal City. The center is warning of dangerous storm surge, heavy rains and strong winds.
National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham said that Barry had gathered “a big slough of moisture” and was expected to dump rain on the area throughout the weekend.
He describes Barry’s slow-moving trajectory as enabling it to gather immense amounts of water that it will eventually dump over saturated areas well inland, flooding rivers and creeks.
During Saturday’s briefing, Governor John Bel Edwards said none of the main levees on the Mississippi River in the state has failed or been breached so far because of Tropical Storm Barry.
But he warned at a news conference on Saturday that the storm is just beginning and the state faces significant threats in the days ahead.
Authorities have previously said water was flowing over the tops of a few levees in areas south of New Orleans. But those are not the main levees protecting the Mississippi River.
As of 1 p.m., Barry was located 5 miles NE of Intercoastal City, LA. The National Hurricane Center indicates that Barry quickly weakened to tropical storm strength after making landfall. Maximum sustained winds are 70 mph and the storm is moving towards the NW at 6 mph. The center of Barry will move NNW today and tonight and should be over the SE edge of the ArkLaTex tomorrow morning.
President Donald Trump declared a federal declaration of emergency for Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Barry.
The declaration late Thursday authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency, to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards had asked the Trump administration in a letter earlier Thursday that the state receive supplementary federal resources as soon as possible should they be needed.