Parts of Louisiana under hurricane warning as Tropical Storm Barry nears

Tropical Storm Barry gains little more wind speed, expected to strengthen into hurricane Friday

"We can not pump our way out of the water levels. that are expected to hit the city of New Orleans", she warned. Residents were ordered to evacuate some nearby areas, but the New Orleans mayor said no evacuations were ordered from the low-lying city which strengthened its flood defenses after devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Gulf water is already covering some roads near the coast. There is a "mega shelter" in place in Alexandria, a city centrally-located in the state. "The real danger in this storm was never about the wind anyway, it's always been about the rain and that remains a very significant threat".

A Friday afternoon advisory from the U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm's maximum sustained winds remain near 65 miles per hour (104 kph).

Following President Donald Trump's state of emergency declaration, Louisiana officials have activated 3,000 National Guard members in anticipation of Barry's path of destruction, the governor said.

A cone map shows Barry's likely arrival as a hurricane early Saturday morning, followed by a slow push inland. "We are continuing to monitor heavy rainfall, storm surge, and levels of the Mississippi River".

"There are three ways that Louisiana can flood: storm surge, high rivers and rain", Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

"Louisiana, the refineries the oil production that's basically the hub that's being hit and so far we are already seeing half of the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico being cut", says Mac.

Forecasters said slow-moving Barry could unload 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 centimeters) of rain through Sunday across a swath of Louisiana that includes New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as southwestern MS, with pockets in Louisiana getting 25 inches (63 centimeters). They said Delta is a lifetime commitment, so they have plenty of time.

At its 7 p.m. update, the NWS said Barry will bring a storm surge of up to six feet and 10 to 20 inches of rain.

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The costliest and deadliest hurricane in USA history, Katrina submerged about 80 percent of New Orleans, causing some 1,800 deaths and more than $150bn in damage.

"This storm is stressing them out", Gulliver-Garcia told CNN.

"My house is raised, and being this close to the river we typically don't have too many problems", he said.

Power outages were moderate Friday evening with about 15,000 customers (including businesses) without electricity, according to the website PowerOutage.us.

- Several Atlanta women just got back from New Orleans on Friday morning.

Larry Gumpert, the 74-year-old owner of a pest-control company, said he planned to hunker down in his home, passing the time by cooking and catching up on household chores.

In some locations, particularly extreme south Louisiana, evacuations were mandatory, Plaquemines Parish being among them. She still plans to go but stocked up on canned food and water in case her "hurrication" falls through and she has to ride out the storm, she said. And though water piled up briefly on some streets, the storm was a good test of the drainage system, Edwards said.

"Much of the Gulf Coast, especially Louisiana, are already at extremely high water levels and so the heavy rains and any potential storm surge will lead to unsafe flash flooding", Jill Trepanier, an expert at Louisiana State University, said in a statement.

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