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Tropical Storm Barry Impacts: 12 Rescued in Terrebonne Parish; Nearly All New Orleans Flights Canceled
Published: July 13, 2019
The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a dozen stranded people early Saturday and nearly all flights were canceled into and out of New Orleans as Tropical Storm Barry continued its slow approach to the Louisiana coast.
Mart Black, Terrebonne Parish Homeland Security spokesperson, told the Associated Press 12 people and a cat were successfully rescued from Isle de Jean Charles in Terrebonne Parish and taken unharmed to a shelter in Houma, Louisiana.
The Coast Guard mounted an air rescue because strong winds prevented any attempt by sea.
“They could not land on the island because of the high water and it’s heavily wooded," Black told The Weather Channel.
The Coast Guard noted that they have received other calls from people stranded on the island.
The narrow stretch of land is located about 45 miles from Houma. The only road into the community is reportedly impassable because of high water. The island was under a voluntary evacuation advisory.
(AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
According to flightaware.com, 252 flights into and out of New Orleans were canceled Saturday. This represents 94 percent of outbound flights scheduled and 77 percent of inbound flights.
More than 60,000 homes and businesses lost electricity by Saturday morning, including half of Assumption Parish, west of New Orleans, according to PowerOutage.us.
High water has closed numerous roadways, including Highway 51 between the I-55 interchanges in Laplace and Ruddock near New Orleans and Louisiana 1 in Lafourche Parish.
Flooding was reported from Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville, Louisiana.
"The waves from the lake are crashing onto the land as if it is all one big lake," resident Ludovico Torri told CNN. "The water is rising too. In the last hour and a half, the water is up a foot. We’re stuck in the house with four kids and the car is almost flooding."
Water has been spotted overtopping a back levee in Plaquemines Parish, one that protects the Myrtle Grove and Pointe Celeste areas near Highway 23 and is not part of the flood defenses that protect the area from the Mississippi River.
"Hopefully the overtopping does not cause a breach," Plaquemines Parish Homeland Security Director Patrick Harvey told WWL-TV. "If so, we will continue to fight that battle, trying to protect Highway 23 if we need to evacuate any other residents from the southern part of the parish."
Early Saturday, Barry was wrapping heavy rain bands into parts of Mississippi and Alabama but not yet so much in Louisiana. The streets of New Orleans and Baton Rouge were eerily quiet as the day broke.
"Some Louisianans may be rightly asking 'Where is the rain?' With the lopsided nature of Barry, the most heavy rain will occur after Barry's center makes landfall, and could last for several days," said weather.com senior meteorologist Jonathan Erdman.
Water levels from storm surge are generally running about 3 feet above normal tide levels along the southeast Louisiana coast, including Lake Pontchartrain," Erdman noted. One location south of Morgan City recorded water levels 5.6 feet above normal Saturday morning.
The storm, which could bring as much as 20 inches of rain, is moving west-northwest at 5 mph and has sustained wind speeds of 71 mph. The latest tracking has the storm making landfall west of Morgan City, Louisiana, sometime late Saturday morning.
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