The Louisiana coast, especially the city of New Orleans, and the mouth of the Mississippi River were placed on flood warning early this Wednesday before the arrival of a tropical storm saturated with rains that could transform itself. in hurricane, according to weather services. “Conditions seem favorable for this system to become stronger as a hurricane as it approaches the shores (US, Ed) in the center of the Gulf” of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The famous city of Louisiana, built partly below sea level, was already on Wednesday morning in a state of emergency with sudden floods and tornadoes due to heavy storms. In some parts of the city, like Jefferson’s, ten to fifteen centimeters of rain had already fallen and five to eight were still expected.
And the prospect of a hurricane by the weekend – which would be the first of the season in the Atlantic and would be called Barry – prompted meteorological services to issue several pre-alerts. This means that life-threatening conditions could occur within 48 hours, in this case related to rising sea levels but also to coastal submersions.
At 17:00 French time, the storm was 270 kilometers southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi. Its winds were at 45 km / h, still well below the threshold to become a hurricane (119 km / h). It should produce a rain accumulation of fifteen to thirty centimeters until the beginning of next week. The local authorities multiplied the warnings as the majestic river was already flirting with its flood level (5.18 meters): it flowed to 4.9 meters in New Orleans.
The dike protecting the city is planned for a flood of 6.10 meters. But this level should be reached Saturday morning, according to meteorologists. The Army Corps of Engineers has indicated “closely monitor” the situation. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell closed the town hall and asked non-essential employees to stay at home, and there were many delays at the city’s airport.