Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency across Louisiana state on Wednesday, July 10, ahead of the forecast landfall of Potential Tropical Cyclone Two late (local time) on Saturday, July 13, into early Sunday, July 14. The storm is forecast to develop into Tropical Storm/Hurricane Barry before it hits the Louisiana Gulf Coast and is expected to bring hurricane-force winds, storm surge, and up to 38 cm (15 in) of rainfall to parts of the state. Earlier on Wednesday, heavy rainfall from severe storms associated with the low-pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood emergency for New Orleans and surrounding areas; though the flash flood emergency has since been rescinded, lingering flooding has been reported in the city.
As of Wednesday afternoon, a storm surge watch is in effect for areas in Louisiana from the mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City; a tropical storm watch is in effect for areas from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Morgan City. The National Weather Service has cautioned that the already-swollen Mississippi River could crest above flood stage to 5.8 meters (19 feet) with additional forecast rainfall over the coming days. The levees of New Orleans reportedly protect the city from flooding up to a river height of 6.1 meters (20 feet).
Heavy rain, high winds, storm surge, and significant flooding are to be expected in areas most severely affected by likely Tropical Storm/Hurricane Barry over the coming days. Consequent transportation disruptions and power outages are likely in hard-hit areas.
Individuals in Louisiana state are advised to monitor local weather forecasts, avoid flooded areas, prepare for lingering disruptions, stockpile non-perishable food and emergency supplies, keep battery-operated devices charged whenever possible, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities. Remember that walking or driving through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain chemical products and wastewater; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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