Tropical Storm gets strength as it passes towards New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – New Orleans residents put up supplies and prepared their homes on Friday when Tropical Storm strengthened Heavy Rain and flooding when it became the first Atlantic hurricane in 2019.

The storm was expected to give up to 25 inches (64 cm) in certain places. This could cause life-threatening flooding along the Mississippi River, which was running at the flood stage for months, officials warned. Residents were ordered to evacuate some nearby areas, but the Mayor of New Orleans stated that no evacuation from the low city was ordered.

US President Donald Trump confirmed the state of emergency for Louisiana and the region's oil production was halved as energy companies evacuated offshore drilling facilities.

Barry parked a maximum durable wind up 65 miles per hour (100 km / h) on Friday morning and was 100 miles (160 km) southwest of the Mississippi River.

Barry is likely to strengthen a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said, with winds of at least 74 mph (119 km) by the time it reaches Louisiana's central Saturday coast.

A coastal storm surge was expected to be introduced in the mouth of the Lower Mississippi River which passes through the heart of New Orleans, pushing its crest to 19 feet (5.79 m) on Saturday. This would have been the highest since 1950 and was dominated by the city toppings.

New Orleans are already soaked after flooded torrential rain on Wednesday.

“If it's worse than the other day, it's the worst week from Katrina,” said Robert Harris, 61, polishing the trombone standing on the path.

Memories of the 2005 storm, which flooded much of the city and killed 1,800 people, are deeply embedded in New Orleans.

New Orleans middle view is pictured with the Mississippi River as Barry's Tropical Storm approaching land in New Orleans, Louisiana, U. 11 July 2019. REUTERS / Jonathan Bachman

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Barry's endurance was expected to ski on the western edge of New Orleans, avoiding direct strikes. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that the city had not ordered any voluntary or compulsory evacuation. But she said that 48 hours of heavy pump pipes could be designed to clear excessive storm streets and drains.

“There is no system in the world that can handle this amount of rain in such a short space of time,” said Cantrell on Twitter.

The Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, warned: “The more information we get, the biggest concern we will have is that it will be a big rain event.” T

Officials from the Army Corps of Engineers of the United States, who keep the levees, claimed that there is unlikely to be any significant breach of the 20 feet high levees in New Orleans.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued to areas of Plaquemines Parish over the narrow-southeast of the city, and to low communities in Jefferson Parish, southwest.

Barry has closed more than 1 million barrels of offshore oil production and the coastal evacuation orders forced any refinery to stop operations.

The top of the levee which protects the Ninth Ward from the Industrial Canal is illustrated in the picture as Tropical Barry's Storm enters land in New Orleans, Louisiana, U. 11 July 2019.

New Orleans residents argued that they intend to reach the supermarkets for bottled water, ice, snacks and beer, grocery stores that thronging that some of them were running out of shopping carts. Across the city, car drivers parked on the raised median strips of roads left them expecting that the extra elevation would protect them from flood damage.

Armani McGriff, a 29-year-old retail worker, said that she picked up non-flammable food and candles after the flood earlier this week.

She recalled how Katrina had reinforced her life at the age of 15, making her family constantly move, but she could not decide whether the upcoming storm was a real threat.

“Not everyone is convinced,” McGriff said.

Additional reporting at Gabriella Borter in New York and Rich McKay in Atlanta; Won by Scott Malone; Edited by Raissa Kasolowsky, Jeffrey Benkoe and David Gregorio

Our Standards:The principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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