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Storm surge watch: New Orleans braces for Tropical Storm Barry

Storm surge watch: New Orleans braces for Tropical Storm Barry

Severe thunderstorms prompted tornado warnings and inundated downtown New Orleans on Wednesday morning, causing travel to be disrupted and forcing the closure of City Hall. The flooding occurred as a brewing tropical system, which may soon became Tropical Storm Barry, gathered strength over the Gulf of Mexico.

A flash flood emergency was declared in Jefferson Parish, with 4-6 inches of rain reported and more on the way as of 9:30 a.m. CDT.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Orleans, St. Charles, Upper Jefferson, Upper Plaquemines, and Upper St. Bernard.

New Orleans city officials and those with the National Weather Service urged residents to stay off the roads and to seek higher ground if they encountered flooding. An EarthCam posted in the French Quarter captured video of the city’s iconic Bourbon Street under water as cars navigated the intersection and heavy rain continued falling. Between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. local time, about 5.56 inches fell in downtown New Orleans.

The tropical threat brewing for late week and into the weekend has the potential to unleash a deluge of more than 2 feet of rain to parts of the Gulf states, which Sojda said posed a dangerous situation for the Louisiana coastline.