President declares federal emergency as Barry approaches Gulf Coast region

Weather

NEW ORLEANS (CBS)- The outer bands of Tropical Storm Barry are now lapping at the edge of the Louisiana coast.

The storm’s arrival signaled the start of what could be a calamitous weekend in the region.

“This is a very significant, severe weather event and the national weather service, they’re using terms like life- threatening floods,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.

Barry is a slow-moving system that will almost certainly deliver a deluge of water to the area.

As much as 25 inches of rain could fall in some places.

“There are three ways that Louisiana can flood – storm surge, high rivers, and rain.  We’re going to have all three,” Bel Edwards said.

The Army Corps of Engineers believes the flooded Mississippi will remain contained by the 20-foot levees that protect New Orleans.

Still, officials warned that there are limits to what the levees and water pumps can do.

“We cannot pump our way out of the water levels, and the waterfalls that are expected to hit the city of New Orleans. We need you to understand this and again be prepared to shelter in place,” said LaToya Cantrell, Mayor of New Orleans

Last night, President Trump declared a federal emergency for the Gulf Coast region. 

That allows the Homeland Security Department and FEMA to assume jurisdiction to coordinate the government’s response to the storm and during its aftermath.

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