Storm system Barry began impacting the deep south on Thursday morning, with heavy rains in Louisiana. The state is predicted to receive up to 20 inches of rain in the coming days.
For now, the National Weather Service [NWS] is calling it “Potential Tropical Cyclone Two.” It is expected to officially become a tropical storm by Thursday evening, and potentially develop into Hurricane Barry by Saturday, when it makes landfall.
A hurricane watch is in effect for the Louisiana Coast. More than 4 million people are under flash flood watch from south-central Louisiana to the western Florida panhandle.
“This is going to be a Louisiana event with coastal flooding and heavy rainfall potentially impacting every part of the state,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said, declaring a state of emergency. “No one should take this storm lightly. As we know all too well in Louisiana, low intensity does not necessarily mean low impact.”
The storm is relatively slow-moving, which means it could linger with relentless rain in Louisiana.
Already, New Orleans received 10 inches of rain on Wednesday, with widespread street flooding.
Travelers heading to the southeast this weekend should check with their airlines regarding flight status.
JetBlue will waive change fees for flights to and from Louisiana booked through Saturday, July 13. Travel must be rebooked by July 20.
Alaska Airlines is waiving change fees for flights booked for July 11 and 12 to or from Houston and New Orleans. New travel must be rebooked before July 16.
United passengers with travel booked to the southeast from July 11 through 14 can rebook for flights through July 21. The waiver affects flights to and from Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; Jackson and Gulfport, Mississippi; and Ft. Walton Beach, Panama City and Pensacola Florida.
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