INTRACOASTAL CITY: Authorities warned of heavy rain and possible tornadoes throughout Sunday as major storm Barry buffeted Louisiana, though there were few indications of widespread flooding, reports AFP.
After briefly becoming the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, Barry was downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall—but it nevertheless packed a serious punch as it moved inland.All flights in and out of the airport in the state’s biggest city New Orleans were cancelled, thousands evacuated their homes, tens of thousands lost power and first responders were poised for action.
Fears that the levee system in New Orleans could be compromised eased after the Army Corps of Engineers voiced confidence that it would hold, but Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged residents not to be complacent.
“We are not in any way out of the woods,” she said, adding that flash flooding could still occur into Sunday.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the storm would intensify into Sunday, with many areas seeing more rain overnight than they had during the day.
“Don’t let your guard down thinking the worst is behind us,” he told a press conference.
At 1:00 am (0700 GMT), the storm was packing winds of 45 miles (75 kilometers) per hour, the National Hurricane Center said, and was located west of the city of Alexandria, moving north at eight mph.“Barry is still very much a dangerous storm with impacts only increasing through Sunday,” the National Weather Service said in a tweet.