Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic flooding in New Orleans in 2005, and was blamed for more than 1,800 deaths in Louisiana and other states, by some estimates. Before the storm reached land, state, local and federal officials spent days preparing for the storm and possible impacts. People used cellphones to see in the dark, and opened doors and windows to let the warm, sticky tropical air circulate.
In addition there will be threat for a few tornadoes as rain bands continue to rotate around the storm.
Although it decreased its intensity over the weekend, Accuweather has warned that following rains and flooding are still a major risk in lower MS as the system travels toward the Northeast. "The levees are higher", Lucien said.
This street in New Orleans' Garden District suffered flooding days before the actual storm arrived.
"So far it's been really nice". The Weather Service says to 2 to 4 inches of rain could fall in just a couple hours in this zone. Torri's vehicle almost flooded.
"Life-threatening, significant flash flooding and river flooding will become increasingly likely later today and tonight as Barry moves inland, especially across portions of south-central and southeast Louisiana into MS", the NHC said.
In New Orleans Lower 9th Ward, resident Burnell Lucien spoke with NPR's Debbie Elliott.
"It's powerful. It's strengthening". An intense rainstorm or a slow-moving hurricane that sits over the city could overpower it.
Downpours also lashed coastal Alabama and Mississippi.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards warned residents during a news conference Friday that Barry would be a significant weather event, telling residents not to take the storm lightly. Still, he said he didn't expect the Mississippi River to spill over the levees despite water levels already running high from spring rains and melting snow upstream. For the first time since their construction, all major floodgates on the Mississippi River are closed, he added.
By Sunday morning, its maximum sustained winds had fallen to 45 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest briefings. At least a dozen people needed to be saved along Island Road, effectively a bridge that traverses the marshy bayou that opens into the gulf.
The New Orleans area is protected from the mighty Mississippi River by levees that started going up right around the time of the city's first settlers three centuries ago.
"Stock up on water".
"He asked me to tell the people of Louisiana hello and said he is pulling for us", Edwards said".
Salvage teams and around 3000 National Guard troops were posted around Louisiana with pontoons, high-water vehicles and helicopters.
The impending storm also triggered a legal spat between neighbouring parishes. An Accuweather.com extreme meteorologist captured video of water overtopping a levee in the parish. As the storm approached, they had scrambled to raise merchandise off the floor. She planned to use them to shore up the door of her townhouse.
Radar shows extremely heavy rain in south central Louisiana near New Iberia where a flash flood warning is in effect. "This means that New Orleans residents are not out of the woods with this system". Working together to lift off the heavy metal covers, they discovered that most of the drains were full of dirt, leaves and garbage. Restaurants reopened, and people were retrieving their cars from medians and other high ground.