Sunday, 15 September, 2019

Tropical Storm Barry knocks out power for all of Grand Isle

Oil prices climb on tropical storm and geopolitical tensions Tropical Storm Barry gains little more wind speed, expected to strengthen into hurricane Friday
Sandy Nunez | 13 July, 2019, 06:56

"This is happening. Your preparedness window is shrinking", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned. "Some people ran. So when it's time to run, it's time to run". The Mississippi River - which flows into NoLa and sits nearly directly in the path of the storm - has recently seen the most flooding in its recorded history.

As of Friday morning, Barry was about 95 miles southwest of the mouth of the MS, with winds around 50 mph, well short of the 74 mph hurricane threshold.

Hurricane warnings are in place for the Louisiana coast, with tropical storm and surge warnings in place east along the MS coast.

The Mississippi is expected to crest Saturday at about 5.8m in New Orleans, where the levees protecting the city range from about 6m to 7.5m in height.

"[Barry] is smaller and the wind is not almost as strong or as concentrated as it was with Katrina, but it's still a high impact storm - and people need to realize this", said the hurricane forecaster. "The real danger in this storm was never about the wind anyway. Because this is has always been a rain event predominantly", Edwards said.

In New Orleans, Mayor LaToya Cantrell says via Twitter, "High water vehicles and boats are pre-staged around the city should water rescues be necessary".

However, the city did not plan to order evacuations because Barry was so close and because it was not expected to grow into a major hurricane.

She said warmer air in the Gulf of Mexico will likely add fuel to the storm, while warmer ocean temperatures there will fill it with vast amounts of evaporated water that can lead to unsafe flooding. That could leave only a small margin of safety in some places, particularly if the storm were to change direction or intensity.

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Nearby, some historic French Quarter businesses are prepping for the storm by putting out sandbags.

Briggs said consumers and investors should expect oil prices to return to normal levels as long as the storm passes through the gulf with no significant damages and major refinery shutdowns. "Most of the exits were blocked off that day".

Store shelves were already empty in New Orleans late Wednesday, as customers bought out bottled water at one local store.

Weakening is expected after Barry moves inland. Many also want to stay home so they can bail water if it rises, then dry out floors and drywall as soon as it recedes.

U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for Louisiana, and the region's oil production was scaled back by almost 60 percent as energy companies evacuated offshore drilling facilities.

Katrina caused catastrophic flooding in New Orleans 14 years ago and was blamed for more than 1,800 deaths in Louisiana and other states, by some estimates.

In its aftermath, the Army Corps of Engineers began a multibillion-dollar hurricane-protection system that isn't complete.