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

A couple strolls down Lakeshore Drive along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain after it was flooded in the wake of Hurricane Barry on July 13, 2019 in Mandeville, Louisiana.
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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