Officials said they have upgraded Tropical Storm Barry to a Category 1 hurricane Saturday morning after it exhibited maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.
Tropical Storm Barry is growing in strength as it continues to approach the Louisiana coast at 14 mph. It is expected to make landfall midday Saturday.
Fox News meteorologist Brandon Noriega said that the flooding caused by the heavy rains is not over yet.
“With the majority of the thunderstorms and rain on the southern side of the storm, and still offshore, the heaviest rain will still be moving onshore the rest of today and tomorrow,” he commented. “So the flooding threat is not over, especially across central Louisiana.”
However, Reuters reported that a bulletin from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm should weaken once it moves onshore and is expected to dip below tropical storm strength over a period of 24 to 36 hours.
“The storm is expected to push closer to land throughout the day, dumping up to 20 inches on the state,” nola.com reported.
The NHC issued an advisory message at 10 a.m. Saturday, saying:
Life-threatening storm surge inundation is ongoing along the coast of southern and southeastern Louisiana, portions of Lake Pontchartrain, and portions of coastal Mississippi where a Storm Surge Warning is in effect.
The slow movement of Barry will result in a long duration heavy rainfall and flood threat from Sunday into next week, extending from the Central Gulf Coast north across the Lower to Mid Mississippi Valley and portions of the Tennessee Valley.
Breitbart News reported that Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, warning state residents not to take the storm lightly.
“Now is the time to check your emergency supplies and get a gameplan for your family and pets,” Edwards wrote.
President Trump declared an emergency on Friday regarding the storm and authorized federal agencies to provide assistance to the state of Louisiana.