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Excerpt: "Mandatory evacuations were ordered south-east of New Orleans, Louisiana, on Thursday as the city and a surrounding stretch of the Gulf coast braced for a possible hurricane over the weekend that could unload heavy rain and send water spilling over levees, in the first big test for flood defenses since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005."

People cope with the aftermath of severe weather in the Broadmoor neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 10 July. (photo: Nick Reimann/AP)
People cope with the aftermath of severe weather in the Broadmoor neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 10 July. (photo: Nick Reimann/AP)


New Orleans: Evacuations Ordered as City Braces for Possible Hurricane

By Guardian UK

11 July 19


Forecasters say the biggest danger is not destructive winds but heavy rain as it was upgraded to tropical storm Barry on Thursday

andatory evacuations were ordered south-east of New Orleans, Louisiana, on Thursday as the city and a surrounding stretch of the Gulf coast braced for a possible hurricane over the weekend that could unload heavy rain and send water spilling over levees, in the first big test for flood defenses since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The strength and speed of the wind increased on Thursday and by mid-morning was upgraded to become tropical storm Barry.

All eyes were on a weather disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that dumped as much as 8in (20cm) in just three hours on Wednesday over parts of metro New Orleans, triggering flash flooding.

Coastal communities are braced for Barry to turn into the first hurricane of the season by Friday, coming ashore along the Louisiana-Mississippi-Texas coastline and pouring more water into the already swollen Mississippi River.

Forecasters said the biggest danger in the days to come is not destructive winds but heavy rain as the slow-moving storm makes its way up the Mississippi valley.

Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, declared an emergency and said national guard troops and high-water vehicles will be positioned all over the state.

“The entire coast of Louisiana is at play in this storm,” he warned.

New Orleans officials asked people to keep at least three days of supplies on hand and to keep their neighborhood storm drains clear so water can move quickly.

A spokesman for the army corps of engineers in New Orleans said the agency is not expecting widespread overtopping of the levees, but there are concerns for areas south of the city. Mandatory evacuations were ordered for people living near the Mississippi River in Plaquemines parish, at Louisiana’s south-eastern tip.

The National Weather Service expects the river to rise to 20ft (6 meters) by Saturday morning at a key gauge in the New Orleans area, which is protected by levees 20 to 25ft high.

“We’re confident the levees themselves are in good shape. The big focus is height,” corps spokesman Ricky Boyett said.

Forecasters said Louisiana could see up to 12in of rain by Monday, with isolated areas receiving as much as 18in.

And the storm’s surge at the mouth of the Mississippi could also mean a river that has been running high for months will rise even higher.

New Orleans got an early taste on Wednesday of what may be in store. Floodwaters invaded downtown hotels and businesses and turned streets into rivers, paralyzing rush-hour traffic and stalling cars. Some people paddled their way around in kayaks.

The city’s sewerage and water board said the pumping system that drains the streets was at full capacity. But the immense amount of rain in three hours would overwhelm any system, said the agency’s director, Ghassan Korban.

As the water from Wednesday morning’s storms receded, people worried about what might come next.

Tanya Gulliver-Garcia was trying to make her way home during the deluge. Flooded streets turned a 15-minute drive into an ordeal lasting more than two hours.

“This is going to be a slow storm,” she said. “That’s what I’m concerned about.”

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0 # DongiC 2019-07-12 00:51
Pray for people in Louisiana. They are about to be battered by Mother Nature once again.
 
 
+1 # dotlady 2019-07-12 10:43
Funny about the name of this potential hurricane. It should be named Donald. Guess the politics go all the way to the weather overseers.
 

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