Rainfall has eased in New Orleans as of midday (local time) on Wednesday, July 10, after severe thunderstorms associated with a system forecast to develop into Tropical Storm/Hurricane Barry dropped 15-25 cm (6-10 in) of rain on the city on Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service declared a flash flood emergency for New Orleans and surrounding areas on Wednesday morning; the flash flood emergency has since been downgraded to a flash flood warning, which remains in effect for New Orleans and Arabi until 13:45 on Wednesday. According to the National Weather Service, a flash flood emergency is issued for situations in which there is a severe threat to human life and catastrophic flash flooding damage is likely.
Parts of New Orleans' French Quarter were flooded on Wednesday, with flooding forcing authorities to close affected streets and carry out water rescues. Many businesses and city government buildings have been closed. Lingering flooding and associated transportation and business disruptions are to be expected in the New Orleans area over the coming hours.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Potential Tropical Cyclone Two, located over the Gulf of Mexico, is forecast to develop over the coming hours and days into Tropical Storm/Hurricane Barry and make landfall in Louisiana state over the weekend of July 13-14. Further heavy rainfall and storm surge is likely to result in flooding in affected areas.
Individuals in the New Orleans area are advised to avoid flooded areas, monitor local weather forecasts, prepare for lingering disruptions, 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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