Flood gates close in New Orleans as city preps for heavy rainfall as Barry moves in

Posted at 1:42 PM, Jul 12, 2019

The flood gates are now closed in New Orleans as the city braces for Tropical Storm Barry.

Authorities have warned people in low-lying parts of Louisiana to evacuate. Rescue crews and National Guard troops are stationed across the city and state, preparing to assist in boat rescues.

Earlier this week, heavy rain flooded the street and it may just be a preview of what’s to come as Barry gets stronger and moves closer to land. The storm is expected to make landfall in Louisiana early Saturday.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged residents and tourists to shelter in place starting at 8 p.m. CT Friday.

“So, I dunno what’s gonna happen,” says New Orleans business owner Sarah Corsiatto. “I think we are gonna get a lot of water in the city.”

Corsiatto says she won't leave town, but she is staying with friends to be closer to her coffee shop.

"I’m gonna try to be open as long as I can,” she says.

She says as the storm moves in, she’ll secure her shop with tape and sandbags.

Nearby, some historic French Quarter businesses are prepping for the storm by putting out sandbags.

Barry could strengthen to a hurricane, but it’s not the high winds that have residents and officials worried, says Benjamin Scott, with the National Weather Service.

“It's the large amount of water,” he explains. “Take a look behind me. This is the Mississippi River, already strained from a season of flooding."

Scott says the number one threat will be the heavy flooding and rainfall.

The Mississippi River this time of year is usually at 6 to 8 feet, but right now, the river sits at 16 feet. The forecast is calling for 15 inches of rain in the city and possibly 25 inches elsewhere.

Tourists in New Orleans are taking the warnings from officials seriously.

Jacques Desormiere and his friends say they aren’t taking chances. They spent the day stocking up on essentials.

“Water, we have a bunch of nuts and things,” he says. “We can cook and eat without electricity.”

Desormiere says he and his friends will likely wait out the storm.

For the latest on Barry, click here .