Trump warns of flooding from Barry in tweet

Tropical storm Barry races toward Louisiana, curbing oil output

Even with the expected weakening of the storm on Sunday, Barry will continue to slowly spread a widespread swath of flooding and torrential rain from Louisiana and western MS to eastern Arkansas, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

Because of the storm's slow movement, rain won't taper off in Louisiana and MS until the second half of Monday or Monday night from south to north. Rain could linger in Arkansas and western Tennessee through Tuesday, where 6 to 10 inches of rain could fall and trigger flooding. "Please be very careful!"

In Mandeville, a city on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain across from New Orleans, storm surge and choppy waters sent waves over the seawall and into nearby communities.

Powerful winds toppling power lines, and "life-threatening" flooding soon followed throughout the day. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers worked to raise levees several feet, install new stronger floodwalls at critical places and strengthen nearly every section of the 130-mile (210-kilometer) perimeter that protects the greater New Orleans area.

The weather service said that could bring an additional 2 inches of rain to the area. "Because of that, there is concern it could be building as it just sits over the water". The Mississippi is now forecast to crest at 19 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

"Ninety-five percent of this storm is still in the Gulf of Mexico", Myers said Saturday evening.

Ellisville is about 85 miles (137 kilometers) southeast of Jackson.

Officials predicted Barry would make landfall as this year's first hurricane in the morning near Morgan City, west of New Orleans.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued across the region in low-lying areas and those outside public levee protection, according to the governor's office, while some areas had voluntary evacuation warnings.

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Hurricane warnings have been dropped for the coast as Barry continued to track inland but tropical storm warnings and a storm surge warning remained in place, as some of Barry's worst wind and remained to the south and east of the center.

Barry had strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane by Saturday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 kph), the National Hurricane Center said.

Until the system arrives, storm chances will be limited. Part of the main road was flooded Saturday afternoon, as were some waterfront businesses, with water rising by the minute.

Resident Jessica Awad, 36, said she wasn't anxious. She and her husband own a candy store featuring homemade fudge, jars filled with gummy bears and other sweets. He said the slow pace of the storm is compounding the flash flood threat and the storm is still pulling moisture up from the Gulf of Mexico.

US Senator Bill Cassidy said officials with the Army Corps of Engineers told him they were "confident" that the 20-foot-high levee system protecting New Orleans, a city of 400,000, would hold. Still, he said he didn't expect the Mississippi River to spill over the levees despite water levels already running abnormally high from heavy spring rains and melting snow upstream.

"We can say now that the rivers will certainly not overtop the levees anywhere on the Mississippi", Edwards said.

More than 3.6 million people along the Louisiana coast are under some sort of tropical or hurricane watch or warning as of Saturday, while more than 3,000 Louisiana National Guardsman stand ready to assist. Some parts of the state might get 25 inches (63 centimeters).

Almost 70% of crude oil production and 56% of natural gas output in the US -regulated areas of the Gulf of Mexico has been cut because of the storm, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said.

Barry was expected to continue weakening and become a tropical depression Sunday, moving over Arkansas on Sunday night and Monday. Forecasts showed the storm on a path toward Chicago that would swell the Mississippi River basin with water that must eventually flow south again.

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