Rain bands and gusty winds move across Southeast Louisiana ahead of Barry

Rain and wind are expected to pick up today for the New Orleans area.

"We're already starting to see some of the rain bands move into Southeast Louisiana," National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

He says the fact that Tropical Storm Barry has only been moving at five miles per hour is not good news.

"The longer this hangs around... you start getting this heavy rainfall."

Graham says he is very concerned about possible flooding.

"We have to keep talking about the dangers of heavy rain," he insisted. "Ninety percent of fatalities in these tropical systems is indeed the water, and that's the problem we are going to have again."

The Hurricane Center advisory gives more details on the expected rain:

  • Barry is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches over southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches. 
  • These rains are expected to lead to dangerous, life-threatening flooding over portions of the central Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley.  
  • Over the remainder of the Lower Mississippi Valley, total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are expected, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches.

Meanwhile, Barry is forecast to get stronger and could be a hurricane with 75 mile per hour winds at landfall south of Lafayette Louisiana early Saturday morning.