Barry spares New Orleans but fuels fears of floods and tornadoes

Tropical Storm Barry dumped rain as it slowly swept inland through Gulf Coast states on Sunday, sparing New Orleans a direct hit but stoking fears elsewhere of flooding, tornadoes and prolonged power outages. Though winds weakened steadily after the storm made landfall on Saturday in Louisiana, rain bands created a flooding and tornado threat from central Louisiana to eastern Mississippi and beyond. Several parishes or counties in both states were under flash flood warnings. Tornado warnings were issued on Sunday morning in both states, though no serious damage or injuries were reported. Donald Trump asked people across the region to keep their guard up, saying on Twitter: “A big risk of major flooding in large parts of Louisiana and all across the Gulf Coast. Please be very careful!” Forecasters warned of a continued threat of heavy rains into Monday as the center of the storm trudged inland. The National Hurricane Center said parts of south-central Louisiana could still have rainfall totals of up to 12in, with isolated pockets of 15in. “This rainfall is expected to lead to dangerous, life-threatening flooding,” forecasters wrote in an advisory. In Mississippi, forecasters said 8in of rain had fallen in parts of Jasper and Jones counties, with several more inches possible. With torrential rain pounding the Interstate 59 corridor, only the headlights of oncoming cars were visible on the highway and water flowed like a creek in the median. Barry was expected to weaken to a tropical depression as its center moved from northern Louisiana into Arkansas. The system, which had briefly become a category one hurricane, was clinging to tropical storm status with maximum sustained winds falling to 40mph. New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell said the city was “beyond lucky” that rainfall fell well short of early predictions of a deluge that could overwhelm the city’s pumping systems. “We were spared,” she said at a news conference, noting the city was ready to help nearby parishes hit harder. In a sign that the city was returning to normal, flights were resuming at its airport. Restaurants reopened and people were retrieving their cars from medians and other high ground. About 112,000 customers in Louisiana and another 5,000 customers in Mississippi were without power, according to

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