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article imageNew Orleans under water — Mississippi could breach levees

By Karen Graham     Jul 10, 2019 in Environment
New Orleans - A storm swamped streets in New Orleans and prompted a tornado warning near the city Wednesday as concerns grew that even worse weather is on the way to Louisiana and other states along the Gulf of Mexico.
A tropical depression situated over water, south of the Florida Panhandle early Wednesday has already dumped 10 inches or more of rain on New Orleans, with flood waters rising up to the doors of many cars during the morning rush hour.'s headline screams New Orleans underwater: Photos, videos show heavy flooding as rain inundates area.
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting the tropical depression to strengthen into Tropical Storm Barry and then into a hurricane as it moves closer to the central Gulf Coast by this weekend. Right now, a line of thunderstorms associated with the system is extended far out in into the Gulf's warm waters.
While the future track of this system remains a bit uncertain, Tropical storm, hurricane, and storm-surge watches are being issued for a portion of the northern Gulf Coast today. As of 1 p.m., the estimated minimum central pressure is 1011 millibars (29.86 inches).
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline and everyone is urged to take this scenario into consideration.
Storm surge watches have been issued for parts of the southeast Louisiana coast, from the mouth of the Pearl River at the border with Mississippi to Morgan City, Louisiana. It does not include Lake Pontchartrain. A watch means life-threatening inundation is possible within the area, generally within 48 hours.
Mississippi River flood stage
Parts of Louisiana could see up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of rain by Monday, with heavier amounts possible in some spots, forecasters said. Texas and Mississippi are also at risk for torrential rains.
Let's get to the biggest worry. New Orleans is protected by levees to a river level of 20 feet (6.1 meters). However, the already swollen Mississippi River is forecast to rise above flood stage to 19 feet (5.8 meters) by Friday, reports the Associated Press.
The possibility exists for the river to reach a flood stage of 20 feet or even more and the New Orleans branch of the National Weather Service (NWS) says this leads to the possibility for a disaster. The NWS and city officials are working with the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Hurricane Center and urged residents in the area to be vigilant about monitoring for updates in the coming days about potential flooding.
More about New orleans, tropical cyclone, Mississippi river, Levees, 20 feet
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