Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging residents to stay “vigilant” as forecasters expect life-threatening flash floods to occur across parts of south Louisiana overnight.
During a news conference Saturday night, Edwards said that even though the Tropical Storm Barry’s winds may have weakened, the threat of rain is significant.
He says impacted areas could stretch from the New Orleans area to Lafayette, which is 120 miles (193 kilometers) to the west.
The Democratic governor says he spoke to President Donald Trump on the phone Saturday. He says the President told him he was “pulling for” Louisiana and would ensure the state receives necessary aid.
A National Weather Service forecaster says New Orleans may dodge the heaviest rainfall from Tropical Storm Barry.
Robert Ricks said Saturday evening that the city is now forecast to receive between 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of rain through Sunday, with some local areas getting a little more. Forecasters had earlier said New Orleans could get up to 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain, raising concerns that it would overwhelm the city’s antiquated pumping system for street drainage.
Ricks cautioned, however, that it was too early to say for certain that New Orleans was in the clear.
Ricks said forecasters were also downgrading their rainfall estimates for Baton Rouge to between 6 and 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters) through Sunday, with up to 15 inches (38 centimeters) in some spots.