New Orleans – A possible tropical storm or even a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico poses double problems for parts of southeast Louisiana – the possibility of a high Mississippi river floating on the dyke tips this weekend. and the danger of flash floods like the one unexpectedly walled New Orleans.
A series of thunderstorms preceding the disturbance sank three hours in parts of the conurbation up to 20 cm of rain. It was predicted that the system will intensify on Thursday to a tropical depression, a tropical storm called Barry Thursday Night and possibly a weak hurricane on Friday as much as 1
Mississippi and Texas also threatened with heavy rains.
From 8 pm ET Thursday The system was located about 180 km southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi in a westerly direction at a speed of 8 km / h and a maximum of 35 km / h wind, according to the National Hurricane Center. The system was approaching the coast of Louisiana this weekend, the center said.
New Orleans got an early taste of what might be in store on Wednesday. According to news agencies, a tornado may have been responsible for wind damage to a house, while floods hit some hotels and shops in the city center as the streets became small rivers housing kayakers. The floods paralyzed traffic in rush hour and brought cars in the city to a halt.
Everything went fast.
"I have to work at a quarter to seven," said Donald Smith, who saw his restaurant in the flood on Basin Street for the third time this year. "There was water everywhere at 7:15."
It was reminiscent of a 2017 torrential flood that revealed major problems – and resulted in significant personnel changes – in the sewer and water authority monitoring road drainage. City officials said the pumping system draining the streets was working at full capacity. However, the immense amount of rain in three hours would overwhelm any system, said Ghassan Korban, director of the sewer and water department.
The threats of a high Mississippi caused officials in the community of Plaquemines at the southeastern tip of Louisiana to order the evacuation of some areas for Thursday. A voluntary evacuation was ordered on Grand Isle, the vulnerable island community south of New Orleans. Governor John Bel Edwards declared a statewide emergency in the light of the oncoming storm.
Fears Over Dikes
A spokesman for the New Orleans Army Corps of Engineers said the agency did not expect widespread elevation of dikes, but there are concerns for areas south of the city. The Meteorological Service estimates that the river will rise to 20 feet on Saturday morning at a key lane in the New Orleans area, protected by dikes 20 to 25 feet high. That would be the highest level in almost 70 years, reports WWL-TV, a subsidiary of CBS New Orleans.
The Corps worked with local officials to identify and reinforce all lower-lying areas, he said. He warned that the situation could change as more information arrives.
"We are confident that the dikes are in good shape themselves, with a focus on altitude," spokesman Ricky Boyett said.
Edwards said National Guard troops and high – watercraft would be positioned throughout the state before it rains more heavily.
"The entire coast of Louisiana is at stake in this storm," said the governor.
New Orleans officials have asked residents to keep the city in stock for at least three days so the water can flow quickly.
Back to the future?
When the water wore off Wednesday morning's storms, people worried about what could come next.  Tanya Gulliver-Garcia tried to come home during the flood. Flooded streets made a 15-minute drive to a more than two-hour ordeal.
"It's going to be a slow storm … that's why I'm worried," she said.
Tourists Floyd and Missy Martin from Raleigh, North Carolina, tried to make the most of it, in a shop with puddles on the floor, where they were worried about buying an umbrella, two bottles of Merlot, chips and peanuts an adventure of it, "joked Floyd Martin.