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New Orleans has an unprecedented problem with Tropical Storm Barry



In the meantime, Barry flies off in the Gulf of Mexico threatening a 2 to 3 foot storm surge at the river mouth, said Jeffrey Graschel, hydrologist at the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center for the Weather Service in Slidell, Louisiana.

The unusual coincidence of factors leads to a forecast that the river will rise to 19 feet on Saturdays, a level that has not been reached since February 1950, and about 2.3 feet behind the record set in April 1922 is Thursday.

"This is the first time we have a tropical system with such high water levels on the river," he said.

The prediction puzzles the nerves of the residents, who are also worried about the 10 centimeters of rain Barry might throw off before he moves out, said senior CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen. This deluge would follow the 9 inches that fell Wednesday in New Orleans and flooded parts of the city.

Compulsory evacuation in at least 2 parishes

Barry, who hit the United States as the first tropical system this year, is moving slowly, the weather service said. Coast and Lower Mississippi Valley residents saw heavy rains with flash floods, river floods and storm surges throughout the weekend until early next week.

"There are three ways Louisiana can be flooded: storm surges, high rivers and rain," said Governor John Bel Edwards on Thursday. "We will all have three."

In the municipalities of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines and St. Charles, states of emergency were imposed. Jefferson Parish and Plaquemines Parish have, as a precaution, evicted in low-lying areas or outside the main dams.
  David Fox makes a call from his store on Poydras Street in New Orleans on Wednesday, July 1[ads1]0th.

Officers are expected to close dozens of flood gates to mitigate the risk of flooding, according to spokesman for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority, Antwan Harris, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has deployed personnel and materials to conduct stagings in Louisiana and Texas, a statement said.

"The inhabitants of the Gulf Coast should now prepare for serious events. Rain, floods and strong wind effects, regardless of the category of this storm," says the FEMA statement.

In New Orleans, 118 of the 120 city pumps drain the neighborhoods, according to Courtney Barnes, spokeswoman for the Sewerage & Water Board. The two, which are not relatively small, said they are at stations with other functioning pumps in the Lakeview region and in New Orleans East. Nevertheless, the system of pumps, underground pipes and ducts is designed so that only 1 inch of rainwater is removed in the first hour of a storm and a half inch in the following hours. It simply could not keep up with Wednesday's downpour, Barnes said, noting that every system in the country was outdated.

"There is no system designed to pump this rain capacity," she said.

& # 39; The true storm has not hit an event & # 39;

Some residents take no chances.

Dannie Davis of New Orleans will evacuate, she said Thursday. She was hit by the flooding on Wednesday, "and the real storm has not even hit," she said.

  Why New Orleans is vulnerable to flooding: It is sinking

"I have not been this way for some time A lot of rain and floods seen before a hurricane, "she said. "Who knows what's coming and whether the city will cope with it."

Claire Grogan, another resident, also planned the evacuation.

For 40 years, she lives in the French Quarter, just blocks from the Mississippi River, she said and was never afraid. That has changed.

"The river is so high that I'm only scared to stay," Grogan said, adding that as a business owner, she also wants her employees to have the chance to leave when they want.


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