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Barry Moves Deeper Into Louisiana With More Rain On The Way
louisiana rain landfall

Barry Moves Deeper Into Louisiana With More Rain On The Way

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Morgan City, Louisiana (CNN)Tropical Storm Barry moved deeper inland Saturday night, dumping heavy rain and overtopping levees in areas along the Louisiana coastline.

Barry Williams talks to a friend on his smartphone on Saturday, July 13, as he wades through storm surge from Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville, Louisiana. Sandra Walker, 62, was one of the first people to arrive at the Felton G. Clark Activity Center in East Baton Rouge, the largest shelter in the area. Walker has a broken leg and said she lives by a river where the water has been high since Independence Day. "I'm scared of the floodwaters. ... I'm right down by the river," Walker said. "I didn't take any chances, I just came out." Barry was forecast to continue moving inland through Saturday night, the hurricane center said, and it was expected to weaken further into a tropical depression on Sunday. Tropical storm-force winds extended up to 175 miles outward from the storm's center, but the rainfall always posed the greatest threat. Barry's slow trek north means residents through the lower Mississippi Valley will see extended periods of rainfall that could prompt heavy flooding. And there's plenty of rain on the way, according to CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. TRACK THE STORM "Ninety-five percent of this storm is still in the Gulf of Mexico," Myers said Saturday evening. As the storm continues to move north, more of the system will hover over land. "And that's where the rain is going to come from." Delta Airlines spokesman Drake Castaneda said "a regular flight schedule is resuming in the Gulf Coast." Levees overtop in Plaquemines Parish The effects of the storm were already being felt in communities along the Louisiana coast Saturday. Levees were overtopped Saturday in Plaquemines Parish, southeast of New Orleans, where mandatory evacuations were put in place for residents of low-lying areas earlier this week.

Logan Courvlle pushes his bike through a flooded street after Hurricane Barry in Mandeville, Louisiana, on July 13. The National Hurricane Center Saturday evening was still warning residents of the coast that they could see a dangerous storm surge. There were storm surge warnings in effect for everyone from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to Biloxi, Mississippi, and for Lake Pontchartrain. 'Stay vigilant and be safe' State, local and federal officials have spent days preparing for the storm and possible impacts and continued to emphasize their readiness after Barry made landfall. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued across the region in low-lying areas and those outside public levee protection, according to the governor's office, while some areas had voluntary evacuation warnings. Evacuation orders were still being instituted as late as Saturday afternoon. At that time, 330 households along Highway 315 and Brady Road were put under mandatory evacuation orders in Terrebonne Parish, parish spokesman Mart Black told CNN. It was unclear how many residents would be impacted.

A Louisiana mayor fears torrential rain, not a tidal surge, will overwhelm his city's drainage pumping system Officials warily eyed the Mississippi River early this week, when forecasts showed a potential storm surge of 2 to 3 feet could push the waterway's height to about 19 feet in New Orleans, frighteningly close to the top of levees that protect up to 20 feet. Those fears have calmed since late Friday, when the surge crest pushed the river to only 16.9 feet. Heavy rain is predicted to push the river level up again Monday, but only to 17.1 feet, forecasters said. Mayor LaToya Cantrell continued to urge caution on Saturday afternoon, telling residents the impacts of the storm would be felt into Sunday. "This means that New Orleans residents are not out of the woods with this system," she said in a statement. "While the storm surge risk on the Mississippi River has passed, the primary risk of heavy rain remains in New Orleans. In Morgan City, about 55 miles east of where the hurricane made landfall and 70 miles southwest of New Orleans, officials and city workers were also worried about lingering water. With up to 30 inches of rain projected this weekend for the region, Morgan City Mayor Frank "Boo" Grizzaffi worried it may be more than the city's drainage system can take, so the city contacted the state and got additional pumps to help tackle the deluge.

CNN's Dakin Andone reported and wrote this story in Atlanta, while Natasha Chen reported from Morgan City. CNN's Matthew Gannon, Christina Maxouris, Chuck Johnston, Michelle Krupa and Paul P. Murphy contributed to this report.