Updated Jul 15, 2019

Barry weakens to tropical depression in Louisiana: Flood threat remains high

Lakeshore Drive near Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville, Louisiana, is flooded. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Barry was downgraded to a tropical depression over northwestern Louisiana Sunday. But the National Hurricane Center said there's "still a high risk of flash flooding" from heavy rain as it churns toward Arkansas, and forecasters issued several tornado warnings.

Details: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) told a news conference Sunday that first responders rescued 93 people, and he said hundreds of thousands were without power following the storm.

The big picture: After a brief period as a Category 1 hurricane, Barry made landfall in Louisiana on Saturday, flooding highways, forcing people onto rooftops and dumping heavy rain across the state, per AP. The-then Tropical Storm Barry prompted preemptive evacuations, power outages, heavy rains and rescues along Louisiana's coast.

Threat level: Sustained rain through the weekend is projected to push some Louisiana rivers to near record-setting flood stages. NOAA forecast the Tchefuncte River — which feeds into Lake Pontchartrain, just outside New Orleans — would reach 30 feet by 2 pm Monday.

The impact: The rain, combined with a storm surge of 3–5 feet, could cause the Mississippi River to rise near or above 20 feet in New Orleans. NOAA forecasts the Tangipahoa River — which feeds into Lake Pontchartrain — to reach 21 feet by 2pm Tuesday.

  • In Baton Rouge, the flood danger remained high: NOAA forecast the Amite River in Denham Springs would hit 41 feet by 3 pm Tuesday and the Comite River to break a record 34.5 feet by 3 pm Monday.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more information from the NWS and the National Hurricane Center.

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In photos: Storm Barry's impact as it crawls across Louisiana

People canoe down Lakeshore Drive along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain after it was flooded in the wake of Hurricane Barry. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

After a brief spell as a hurricane, Barry continued to churn a swath of flooding and torrential rain from Louisiana and Mississippi to eastern Arkansas.

Details: The National Weather Service issued flash-flooding warnings on Saturday for the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, as the storm brings with it torrential rain and potentially "life-threatening flooding" — which the National Hurricane Center forecast could continue into the middle of the coming week. On Sunday, Barry was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jul 15, 2019

Extreme heat roasts East Coast, as cold front moves into Midwest

People at Washington Square Park in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

People on the East Coast can expect the heat wave that's gripped much of the U.S. this weekend to end Monday and Tuesday, the National Weather Service said. But the cold front will bring "strong thunderstorms" and potentially heavy rain that may trigger flash flooding.

The state of play: The cold front was moving through the Midwest Sunday, as the East Coast sweltered through another day of searing temperatures, with several records broken or tied. The heat and humidity caused more power outages and the cancellation of events Sunday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jul 22, 2019

Top 10 U.S. emitters of cancer-causing gas are in Louisiana and Texas

The Holy Rosary Cemetery next to Dow Chemical in Taft, Louisiana. Photo: Julie Dermansky/Corbis via Getty Images

The top 10 emitters of cancer-causing ethylene oxide gas are all located in Louisiana and Texas, according to Bloomberg Environment analysis of the Environmental Protection Agency's air toxic emissions data this week.

Why it matters: More than 100 petrochemical plants and refineries occupy a stretch between Baton Rouge and New Orleans that was formerly referred to as the "Petrochemical Corridor," but is now known as "Cancer Alley," per CBC News. At its heart is the town of Reserve, Louisiana, where residents have been diagnosed with cancer at "highly unusual" rates, according to a report by the University Network for Human Rights.

Go deeperArrowAug 8, 2019