Tropical Storm Barry is expected to become a hurricane before making landfall in Louisiana and New Orleans is bracing for potential catastrophic flooding with the mighty Mississippi River already in flood ahead of the storm. This is the first major test of the levees in New Orleans since deadly Hurricane Katrina (Category 3) made landfall there in 2005.
CNN is tracking the storm, here’s the latest:
- How strong is the storm? Barry was churning Friday (Saturday NZT) in the Gulf of Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 105 kmh (65 mph), according to the National Hurricane Center’s advisory at 5 p.m. ET. Barry is expected to grow into a hurricane by the time it makes landfall, the hurricane center said. It will likely be a Category 1 storm.
- When and where will it make landfall? After the wind and rain picks up Friday and evening across south Louisiana, landfall is expected between late Saturday morning and midday local time (Overnight tonight NZT), somewhere along the state’s central coast. The worst conditions for south Louisiana and New Orleans will kick in Saturday and last into Sunday (Over Sunday and Monday NZT). Barry will then move inland to the Lower Mississippi Valley, when it should begin to weaken, the hurricane center said.
- What are the risks? While wind is a huge threat in tropical systems, the dangers here are posed by heavy rainfall, storm surge and flooding, authorities have emphasized.
- Tropical Storm Barry: The storm is moving through the Gulf of Mexico and it could become a hurricane by the time it makes landfall.
- The biggest threat: The real threat the storm poses is rain â€” which could quickly turn into unprecedented flooding.
- Where’s Barry now? You can track the storm here via CNN’s Storm Tracker.
– WeatherWatch.co.nz (Proudly a CNN Weather affiliate)