Left Menu
Development News Edition

Braced for Barry: New Orleans girds for 'extreme' storm

PTI | New Orleans | Updated: 12-07-2019 11:02 IST | Created: 12-07-2019 10:49 IST
Braced for Barry: New Orleans girds for 'extreme' storm
(Representative Image) Image Credit: ANI

Tropical Storm Barry gathered strength late Thursday as it chugged toward water-logged New Orleans, which girded for heavy rains, storm surge and flooding that pose a threat reminiscent of 2005's deadly Hurricane Katrina. The weather system, which has already caused major flooding in the low-lying city, is expected to reach hurricane strength Friday or early Saturday when it nears Louisiana's central or southeast coast, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The NHC noted that sustained winds had increased to near 50 miles (81 kilometers) per hour, with higher gusts, and the storm will bring "life-threatening flooding" to coastal and river areas. With Barry just 90 miles (145 kilometers) from the mouth of the Mississippi River, Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency and two parishes, as counties are known in Louisiana, called for mandatory evacuations in some locations.

The southern state was bracing for what Edwards said could be "an extreme rain event" that impacts "a huge portion of the state." LaToya Cantrell, mayor of the city known for its Mardi Gras and jazz, warned residents to review their emergency plans and supply kits, and to stay updated with the latest forecasts. President Donald Trump tweeted his concern to "everyone on the Gulf Coast," imploring them to prepare their homes for the storm and heed the directions of federal, state and local officials.

"Please be prepared, be careful, & be SAFE!" he wrote. Louisiana is facing an extraordinarily dangerous confluence of conditions, according to experts.

The level of the Mississippi River, already swollen from historic rains and flooding upstream in the nation's Midwest, was at 16 feet (4.9 meters) in New Orleans late Thursday, one foot shy of flood stage. With storm surges from the Gulf projected to reach two to four feet, the Mississippi has the potential to breach the 20-foot-high levee system protecting the city of 400,000.

The NHC said the center of Barry will be near the central or southeastern coast of Louisiana Friday night or Saturday. The NHC has upped its projections of Barry's rainfall totals to 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 centimeters), with up to 25 inches in some areas, including just south of Louisiana's capital city Baton Rouge.

"Flash flooding and river flooding will become increasingly likely, some of which may be significant," the NHC said. Despite the dire warnings, downtown New Orleans exuded a mix of preparation and relaxation as skies cleared for much of Thursday.

By late afternoon, strong steady winds were buffeting the city where some store owners laid sandbags or boarded-up window fronts, while tourists lounged in cafes, snapped photographs of the swollen river and bought street art. "I'm a little nervous," admitted Lorraine Jones, who was visiting from Charlotte, North Carolina to attend a sorority convention.

"Right now I feel safe, but if push comes to shove, we'll make a move," she told AFP. In 2005, Katrina -- the costliest and deadliest hurricane in US history -- submerged about 80 percent of New Orleans as its flood defenses gave way. Best remembered for the devastation wreaked on the city known as The Big Easy, Katrina also pounded other parts of Louisiana as well as Mississippi and Alabama, leading to about 1,800 deaths and inflicting more than $150 billion in damage.



3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Poor on IHR capacity progress in 2019, WHO says Cambodia tops COVID-19 response

Despite being in proximity to Hubei, the original epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia has reported just 226 confirmed cases and zero deaths. After seeing the data, WHO appreciated Cambodias healthcare information system but experts dou...

Loopholes in Healthcare Information System may have failed Singapore COVID-19 model

In the initial days of the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore was in the limelight for its effective healthcare system and pandemic response plan. However, Singapore has now joined the list of the worst-hit nations and the situation is even worse...


Latest News

Smile Foundation, Picture Paathshala announce online film festival for children

With an aim to encourage young storytellers to showcase their talent through creative storytelling, the Smile Foundation has announced a free online film festival where they will showcase films made by children for a young audience. The dig...

Indian Overseas Bank cuts base rate to 9.35 pc

State-owned Indian Overseas Bank IOB on Friday said it has slashed its base rate by 0.10 per cent to 9.35 per cent. The asset lability management committee of our bank decided to reduce the base rate to 9.35 per cent from the existing 9.45 ...

President Ramaphosa to deliver 2020 National Women’s Day address

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the 2020 National Womens Day keynote address virtually on Sunday.This years Womens Month will be celebrated under the theme Generation Equality Realising womens rights for an equal future.Given the nat...

UK Foreign Office cat, Lord Palmerston, retires as mouse catcher

The resident cat at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office FCO in London, dubbed Lord Palmerston the Chief Mouser in reference to its mouse-catching duties, is to retire from diplomatic service, the FCO said on Friday. Lord Palmerston, fame...

Give Feedback