Tropical Storm Barry batters Louisiana; more to come

Updated Jul 13, 2019

The weather disturbance over the Gulf of Mexico has been upgraded to a named tropical storm and is expected to make landfall on the Louisiana coast sometime between late Friday and early Saturday, possibly as a hurricane.

As a result, Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency that remains in effect through Aug. 8 unless ended sooner. New Orleans has already gotten about 10 inches of rain and more is expected.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, emergency declarations such as this trigger the temporary suspension of some federal safety regulations for motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief. They include direct assistance for the immediate restoration of essential services (such as electrical, sewer, water, and telecommunications) or essential supplies (such as food, water, medical supplies, and fuel), said the FMCSA.

National Weather Service map of Tropical Storm BarryNational Weather Service map of Tropical Storm Barry

The National Hurricane Center’s most recent briefing says Tropical Storm Barry:

  • is a large, slow-moving storm covering most of the Gulf Coast
  • most likely will drop between 15 and 20 inches of rain on southern Louisiana but could deliver more than 2 feet in some areas
  • might deliver life-threatening storm surges of between 3 and 6 feet along the Louisiana coast and to the Mississippi and Alabama coasts
  • has winds of 40 mph but could produce winds that reach 75 mph in and around New Orleans Saturday morning
  • might drop 10 to 15 inches of additional rain could through early next week
  • could also drop as much as 20 inches in parts of the Lower Mississippi Valley next week

“This is going to be a Louisiana event with coastal flooding and widespread, heavy rainfall potentially impacting every part of the state,” said Edwards in a prepared statement. “No one should take this storm lightly. As we know all too well in Louisiana, low intensity does not necessarily mean low impact.”

Information for the Louisiana roads is available at 511la.org.

Additionally, the American Logistics Aid Network urges Gulf Coast residents — especially those in New Orleans — to prepare for storm-related problems.

“There’s already significant flooding in south Louisiana, especially New Orleans, and if Barry continues on its predicted path, it could bring as much as 15 additional inches of rain to the area.  As a result, we have good reason to believe this could be the first significant hurricane of the 2019 season,” said Kathy Fulton, executive director of ALAN, which helps coordinate supply chain efforts to get relief and supplies to where disasters strike.

According to Fulton, ALAN is in touch with key partners at local, state, and federal agencies and non-profits, and it is standing by to offer logistics support as needed. She said if help is requested, notices will be issued on ALAN’s website and on Twitter, Facebook and Linked In accounts.”

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Logistics businesses that wish to offer their assistance in advance can do so by visiting ALAN’s website.