Barry makes landfall, downgraded to tropical storm

Concrete bags in front of buildings

Concrete bags in front of buildings

Experts estimate that the total damage and economic loss caused by Tropical Storm Barry - which is set to deliver a punishing blow to the Gulf Coast this weekend, possibly as a hurricane - will be upwards of $10 billion.

Hurricane Barry made landfall in Louisiana on Saturday and weakened to a tropical storm, after a westward shift that appeared to spare low-lying New Orleans from the massive flooding feared earlier this week.

The National Hurricane Center says the storm arrived on land Saturday afternoon near Intracoastal City.

The Storm Prediction Center has the southwest part of Alabama under a marginal risk of severe weather for that very reason. Authorities ramped up evacuations, airlines canceled flights and flood gates were slammed shut.

Tiffany Delee tosses a filled sandbag into the back of the family truck, while her husband Mike Delee, left, readies to tie up another bag, in Morgan City, La., Friday, July 12, 2019. The Atchafalaya River had flooded its banks, and trees were already blown over in residential areas. It will become a hurricane once winds reach 74 miles per hour, and Barry could potentially come ashore as a Category 1 storm, the weakest on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the NHC.

Due to the Hurricane Emergency Center declaring that the storm was "strengthening" and that "water is going to be a big issue", the governors of Louisiana and MS have declared a state of emergency.

Barry was reportedly heading west-northwest across the northern Gulf of Mexico at 5 miles per hour on Friday. Some isolated areas could see as much as 25 inches. "If that doesn't force people to react to this and listen to their local officials [when they tell them to evacuate] then I don't know what else we can tell them".

"We've stayed for some pretty strong storms and we shouldn't have", admitted Keith Delahoussaye, a 60-year-old mechanic, at his trailer home in Port Sulphur.

Across the Mississippi River in historic Algiers Point, people were exercising, walking their dogs and snapping pictures of the river in a light rain and occasional wind gusts. "This is just the beginning", he said at a Saturday news conference.

But local revelers and tourists drank "hurricane" cocktails and sang arm in arm as they walked down Bourbon Street late Friday.

The worst of the storm is expected to hit an area west of New Orleans, and affect the wider region.

Louisiana is facing an extraordinarily unsafe confluence of conditions, experts say. Also, the Louisiana coast east of the mouth of the Mississippi River is no longer under a tropical storm warning.

"There's still going to be two to three feet between the top of the levee and the top of the floodwaters", Cassidy told Fox News. The forecast is for 10 to 20 inches of rain, with some areas getting more.

Mike Yenni, president of Jefferson Parish near New Orleans, said the community had taken the "unprecedented" step of closing hundreds of flood gates, largely due to the high levels of the Mississippi.

The cost also includes damage to homes and businesses, as well as cars, agricultural damage, contamination of drinking water, and general damage to infrastructure.

Ahead of the storm, New Orleans residents flocked to supermarkets for bottled water, ice, snacks and beer, thronging grocery stores in such numbers that some ran out of shopping carts.

The city's main sports arena, the Superdome, was turned into an emergency shelter during Katrina.

A performance scheduled for Sunday by the Rolling Stones at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which served as an emergency shelter during the Hurricane Katrina flood of 2005, was postponed until Monday. We anticipate the river forecasts to reflect this with some lower numbers as we get our next update this evening.