Published: Wed, July 17, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Barry's flood threat lingers though the wind system weakens

Barry's flood threat lingers though the wind system weakens

However, in a news conference on Sunday evening, Louisiana's governor John Bel Edwards said he was "extremely grateful" that Barry did not cause the disastrous floods that had earlier been forecast.

And the problems persisted long after Saturday's landfall - when Barry came ashore as a weak hurricane.

The rain is light enough and the system moving fast enough that flash flooding is not a major concern at this time. It took 48 hours for the system to travel just 400 miles into Arkansas, making the flooding in southern Louisiana and MS even worse as the same areas absorbed several rounds of Barry's rain bands.

The National Weather Service said Barry was expected to produce additional rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches across Arkansas, western Tennessee and Kentucky, southeast Missouri, and northwest Mississippi. In addition to the heavy rains, a few strong or severe storms are possible, especially across the west. Louisianans kept a wary eye on rivers and canals badly swollen by the torrential rainfall, following an extraordinarily wet season farther up the Mississippi River. Authorities said rivers and streams are rising quickly in that part of the state. Rail traffic interchanged with eastern carriers at New Orleans has been restricted, as flood gates were closed this afternoon.

But the worst of the rain and surge eluded the Big Easy as the storm was slow to develop, and the river crested at just 17 feet. "We are lucky; we were spared". However, levees in less densely populated areas south of New Orleans, including in Plaquemines and Terrebonne Parishes, did overtop.

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Pete Gaynor, the acting administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told Fox that "there are still life-threatening conditions".

Much of Louisiana and MS are under flash flood watches, as are parts of Arkansas, eastern Texas, western Tennessee and south-eastern Missouri.

According to the NHC, part of south-central Louisiana could still have rainfall totals up to 30 centimeters.

Barry also forced the closure of 16 roads and 24 bridges over the weekend, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary said.

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