On the forecast track, the center of Barry will be near or over the central or southeastern coast of Louisiana Friday night or Saturday, and then move inland into the lower Mississippi Valley on Sunday. All state resources, including helicopters, aircraft, trailers, generators and dozens of state employees, will be on standby.
Hurricane Barry unloaded powerful winds and heavy rains as it finally made landfall Saturday along the Louisiana coast.
"Rainfall is one of the most impactful effects of a tropical storm", National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) hurricane scientist Rosimar Rios-Berrios emphasized Friday evening, as Barry crept toward Louisiana.
The main threat from the storm was expected to be its flood potential rather than its high winds.
President Donald Trump declared a federal emergency for Louisiana, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate relief efforts. If the highway floods, residents will not be able to utilize the River Levee to evacuate south of Phillips 66.
Officials predicted Barry would make landfall as this year's first hurricane in the morning near Morgan City, west of New Orleans.
Still, coastal flooding and the overtopping of other levees has already begun, and the brunt of rain has yet to come. Although the storm has been upgraded to Hurricane status, the National Hurricane Center believes it will weaken to a tropical depression by Sunday.
Threatened flooding from a tropical storm in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico that cut almost a third of the region's oil production has forced the shutdown of a coastal refinery, pushing oil and gasoline prices higher on Thursday.
The brunt of the storm was expected to skirt the western edge of New Orleans instead of making a direct hit.
"We could be looking at widespread major flooding across several river basins", said the NHC.
Second Harvest Food Bank spokesman Jay Vise says a caterer had more than 17,000 uneaten meals after the storm caused Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to end its New Orleans convention a day early.
Another study found that the amount of rain that fell on the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 was equal to the amount of water that evaporated from the Gulf into the storm as it formed.
Edwards warned of a unsafe combination with the already-high Mississippi River, which has been swelled by heavy rain and snowmelt upriver this spring.
Forecasters said slow-moving Barry could unload 25 to 50 centimetres of rain through Sunday across a swath of Louisiana that includes New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as southwestern MS, with pockets in Louisiana getting 63cm.
An evacuation order was also issued for all areas along both Brady Road and Highway 315 on Saturday afternoon.
The latest forecast calls for the peak to stay below the height of the levees by a couple of feet, although that is just an estimate based on predicted rainfall.