Flooded Louisiana cleans up from Barry but dodges ‘worst-case scenario’; storm moves north dumping more rain
As Louisiana residents clean up from the hit of Hurricane Barry, flood alerts are in effect from Texas to Illinois as heavy rain from the storm streams north.
On Saturday, Barry slammed the Louisiana coastline as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds, becoming the first hurricane to hit Louisiana in July since Cindy in 2005.
Barry knocked out power to over 150,000 customers in the state.
Barry quickly weakened to a tropical storm but it dropped torrential rain and left massive flooding throughout parts of Louisiana.
Rainfall reached 12 inches in southwestern Louisiana while storm surge climbed to 7 feet in Amerada Pass.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday he was „extremely grateful” that the rain and flooding wasn’t as severe as forecast and that „the worst-case scenario did not happen.”
„This was a storm obviously that could have played out very, very differently,” he said.
But Edwards still warned residents to not let their guard down.PHOTO:A woman walks through her flooded business during Hurricane Barry in Mandeville, Louisiana, July 13, 2019. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)(MORE: Storm surges explained by Ginger Zee)For Mandeville, Louisiana, resident Kit Roth, who lost her home of 14 years in Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the biggest impacts from Barry were the waves and storm surge.Roth said her house was only 4 feet up when Katrina destroyed it, so she rebuilt higher on that same spot. Barry has left her with some cleanup to do, but the house made it through.”Everything’s fine, we’re OK,” she told ABC News on Sunday. „We’re very practiced, we know what we have to do.”PHOTO: A man pushes his bike through a flooded street after Hurricane Barry in Mandeville, La., July 13, 2019. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)Though she was able to rebuild on her same property after Katrina, she said the trauma still sticks with her.”It’ll never be the same for us,” she said. „It just changed everything.”
(MORE: How to know when a hurricane is coming and other key facts to know)By Monday night, the remnants of Barry are forecast to reach Arkansas and Missouri, possibly bringing heavy rain and flash flooding.PHOTO: Heavy rain is expected in Missouri later on Monday. (ABC News)By Tuesday night, the remains of the storm will dump heavy rain into Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana.PHOTO: Remnants from Barry should travel farther north on Tuesday. (ABC News)
Hurricane Barry, which had diminished to a tropical depression Monday, remained a dangerous storm that still threatened floods, tornadoes and a new concern – snakes.
Authorities in St. Tammany Parish, 50 miles north of New Orleans, said the area „may have dodged a bullet” when Barry gave the area only a glancing blow. But residents were urged to look for other dangers on social media:
„If the area you live in has high water, watch out for snakes and other critters who are trying to escape the flood waters as well,” the Fire Protection District warned on Facebook.
Elsewhere, the storm’s impacts were not over. In Alabama, Barry’s rains overwhelmed sewer systems, the Weather Channel said, as more than 250,000 gallons of sewage spilled from systems along Alabama’s coasts.
Bands of heavy rain also continued to spread across Louisiana, Mississippi and eastern Arkansas on Monday. The risk for major flooding hung over the region that could see up to 2 feet of rain before skies clear later Monday or Tuesday, AccuWeather forecast.
The heaviest rain may pour down at rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour.
„Our greatest concern is for torrential rain that would result in life-threatening flooding,” AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said.
One spot in Louisiana picked up 17 inches of rain, the weather service said.
As of Monday afternoon, the center of the storm was located over northern Arkansas. It had winds of 25 mph and was moving to the north at 12 mph.
Kottlowski said the risk for some flooding was spreading north into parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri. Tornadoes were possible in parts of Mississippi and Alabama, he said.
The National Weather Service said Barry was expected to produce additional rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches across Arkansas, western Tennessee and Kentucky, southeast Missouri, and northwest Mississippi.
Barry will spread drenching showers and thunderstorms across the Ohio Valley and into the interior Northeast on Wednesday, according to AccuWeather.
Hurricane Barry barreled ashore along the Louisiana coast west of New Orleans on Saturday and quickly weakened to a tropical storm. In Louisiana, power outages topped 150,000 on Sunday and the National Guard was out in force. But Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was grateful the state was not hammered as badly as had been feared.
“I, for one, am extremely grateful that the forecasted rains and flooding did not materialize,” Edwards said. „This is a storm that could have played out differently.”
Still, Baton Rouge was setting a new record every day. The Mississippi River rose above flood stage in January and has not dropped below that mark since, AccuWeather said. And it may not do so until summer’s end.
The silver lining: The sun was forecast to shine on Tuesday.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Barry: Flooding, tornadoes, snakes, critters left in storm’s wake
- Hurricanes can be extremely dangerous so it’s important you do not underestimate them so you can better keep yourself, your loved ones, and your pets safe.
- Evacuation orders should be taken seriously and you should avoid standing in front of windows or going outside during a hurricane.
- Having a „hurricane party” can be dangerous and so can lighting candles or using gas lamps, especially if the winds are very strong.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
When preparing for a hurricane, there are a few things you should keep in mind for the safety of yourself and others. After all, these storms can have a severe, damaging impact on the areas they hit and those who reside there.
Although facing down a hurricane can be scary, there are some steps you can take to prepare your home and family for these potential disasters.
Here are some mistakes you should avoid making during a hurricane.
Mistake #1: Trying to ‘ride out the storm’ even though you’ve been advised to evacuate
Unlike some other natural disasters such as earthquakes or fires, hurricanes typically come with several hours or days of advanced warning, so it’s important to evacuate if the storm is set to hit your area or if you’ve been told to do so.
To stay in the loop, whenever you hear of any hurricane or storm threat in your area, you’ll want to frequently tune in to emergency services for announcements about if and when you should evacuate. If you’ve been given a voluntary evacuation order, it means officials and authorities strongly encourage you to begin leaving your area to seek a safer location.
If you’ve been given a mandatory evacuation order, you should follow officials’ instructions to get to a safer area as soon as possible as „emergency management officials use a mandatory evacuation as a protective action in certain emergencies to help save the lives of residents and first responders,” per Weather.com.
Both voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders mean there will likely soon be a threat to your area so they should be taken seriously. Remember to carefully follow instructions as there’s usually a certain time when you should and can evacuate as well as specific routes you are advised to take.
If you or a loved one needs help with evacuation, try researching evacuation-assistance organizations in your area. For instance, New Orleans has the Evacuteer organization, a team of volunteers dedicated to helping people evacuate in the event of a major storm.
But before facing any hurricane threat, you and your family may want to take time to craft an evacuation plan, which includes familiarizing yourself with your evacuation routes and zones as well as your nearby shelter locations.
Mistake #2: Leaving your pets behind to fend for themselves
Include your pets in any evacuation plan. Keep in mind that, in many cases, public shelters do not allow non-service animals inside during natural disasters — so you’ll want to check your local laws and policies ahead of time and plan accordingly.
For starters, you may want to research which hotels in areas not threatened by a hurricane are pet-friendly in advance, as Greta Gustafson, media relations specialist for the American Red Cross, told INSIDER.
Creating a pet-focused disaster-preparedness plan in advance can also help tremendously. This includes assembling an emergency kit with pet supplies like food, copies of their medical records, and a secure carrier.
Read More: 8 ways to prepare your pets for a hurricane
Mistake #3: Opening your windows or doors
„There is a common and unfortunate belief that opening a window during a hurricane can equalize pressure and help prevent damage,” said Sam Maizlech, an outdoors & survival expert for Glacier Wellness. „In reality, there is no chance that your home is airtight and creating large openings will likely only cause more property damage.”
Keep all doors and windows shut tight for the duration of any storm — in many cases, you may also want to properly board them up, too.
Mistake #4: Staying close to windows during the storm
Even if your home is all boarded up, stay away from its windows during the worst of the storm. If a window does break, then it’s best to steer clear of that area of your home until the storm subsides as you never know what sort of debris could fly through the opening.
During a storm, it’s best to seek shelter in interior rooms such as a windowless bathroom, hallway, or even closet, as explained by the National Weather Service. You’ll also want to try to get as low as possible, preferably underground or in a basement area.
Mistake #5: Lighting candles and gas-lit lanterns
Rob Kim/Getty Images
To lower your risk of starting a blaze, you’ll want to avoid using flame-lit candles or gas-based lights during or just after a hurricane.
„Although power outages are practically guaranteed during a hurricane, it’s important to avoid using candles or lanterns [since] the extreme winds can often damage gas lines and create leaks, lighting a fire should be avoided at all costs,” Maizlech told INSIDER. „Instead, stick with battery-operated flashlights until your gas lines are secured and power is safely restored.”
Mistake #6: Having a ‘hurricane party’ during the storm
Hurricane parties, when people gather and typically drink alcohol as a sort of distraction from the storm, are known for being a bit of a tradition but they’re not exactly a safe one. After all, when dealing with a dangerous situation you’ll likely want to be as alert and prepared to deal with it as possible.
„We do not encourage hurricane partying,” Don Walker, public information officer for Brevard County Emergency Management, told USA Today. „During times of emergencies, it’s important that people remain aware and alert at all times.”
Mistake #7: Not having an updated emergency-preparedness kit
Preparation is key and your home (especially if it is in an area that has frequent weather-related threats) should have a special kit that can help you handle a hurricane or serious emergency.
According to Ready.gov, this kit should include enough water and food to last you and those in your household at least three days, medications, first-aid supplies, cash, flashlights, and extra batteries. You can visit the official website for more ideas for items to include in your disaster-preparedness kit.
And if you already have a kit prepared, remember to check on it now and then to ensure the food in it has not expired, the information in it is updated, and the items inside of it are still in working condition.
NOW WATCH: This artist creates fun-size pottery
U.S.Land crabs infest Florida man’s house after heavy rainfallLily Puckett•A man in Florida recently received hundreds of crabs as unexpected house guests.Heavy rain fall in south Florida forced hundreds of land crabs, which burrow underground, out of their holes and into the property of Dan Skowronski, a resident of of Port St Lucie. In a video shared to Facebook, the Florida man witnessed the home invasion with a surprising calm.“They must have got rained out of their holes,” he said while filming the crabs, which were scurrying all over his house and property. “All land crabs. Their homes got wiped out by the rain, and they’re all over.”“They’re more scared of me than I am of them,” he said, adding that “sometimes it happens once a year”.Florida saw heavy rainfall as Hurricane Barry geared up in the Gulf Coast throughout last week, before making landfall in Louisiana on Saturday. The storm left heavy flooding throughout New Orleans, but was downgraded to a tropical storm upon hitting the city, and did less damage than anticipated. Still, much of the city experienced rampant flooding, which is expected to continue and spread this week.In the Florida panhandle, far north above the crab invasion, the storm stirred up a mass influx of jellyfish, washing up on the sand as the water picked up into dangerous riptides. Public beaches were closed to swimmers while the fish and waves persisted.WPTV reports that the crabs in South Florida were gone by Friday.
New York has recovered from its Saturday blackout that plunged part of the city that never sleeps into darkened disarray ― but a sequel may be in the offing.
Thanks to a heat wave threatening to bake the streets in temperatures inching past 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 degrees Celsius) staring at the end of this week, the lights could go out again.
Mike Clendenin, a spokesperson for energy company Con Edison, told local Pix11 News on Monday it’s anticipating a potential repeat.
“We expect that there could be service outages,” he said. “Those things happen during heat waves. Our crews are ready to respond. We are going to be prepared for this. It’s going to be intense.”
He also emphasized that, although Con Ed has yet to pinpoint the cause of the weekend blackout, heat was not the culprit.
According to an AccuWeather forecast, a four-day stretch of 90-degree-plus temperatures will begin on Friday, with the likely high of 97 degrees (36.1 degrees Celsius) occurring on Saturday.
By the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s definition, a heat wave is typically two or more consecutive days of unusually hot weather for a particular region. For New York, Pix11 notes, it’s three or more days of temperatures reaching or exceeding 90 degrees.
Saturday’s outage left about 72,000 people without power on the west side of Manhattan, according to Con Ed. Though the outage stopped elevators, sent some subway lines to a screeching halt and canceled a slew of Broadway shows, performers swapped stages for sidewalks where they belted out songs.
In a statement released Sunday on the blackout, the company said “engineers and planners will carefully examine the data and equipment performance relating to this event, and will share our findings with regulators and the public.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.