Fading Barry Dumps Final Torrential Rains

Part of the Mississippi Delta is 'an ocean'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 15, 2019 7:15 PM CDT
Fading Barry Dumps Final Torrential Rains
A man tries to bike through the flooding Sunday in New Iberia, Louisiana.   (Henrietta Wildsmith/The Shreveport Times via AP)

Tropical Depression Barry spared New Orleans and Baton Rouge from catastrophic flooding, but even as it weakened and moved north through Arkansas, its trailing rain bands swamped parts of Louisiana with up to 17 inches of rain and transformed part of the Mississippi Delta into "an ocean." As of Monday evening, with the center of the storm about 105 miles northwest of Little Rock, the National Weather Service said flash flood watches remained in effect in southeast Texas through the lower Mississippi Valley, the AP reports. Forecasters said the storm was expected to produce up to 4 inches of rain—and in isolated spots as much as 8 inches—across Arkansas, western Tennessee and Kentucky, southeast Missouri, and northwest Mississippi.

Some of the earliest fears that the storm posed didn't play out: A shift in its path decreased the possibility of major Mississippi River levees being overtopped at New Orleans. And the torrents of rain forecasters had said were possible didn't happen. "This was a storm that obviously could have played out very, very differently," Gov. John Bel Edwards said. But the storm was still a huge headache. Levees were overtopped along waterways in some coastal parishes. More than 90 people were rescued because of high water in at least 11 parishes, Edwards said. Deluges hit parts of southwest Louisiana late Sunday into Monday morning. Parts of northern Calcasieu Parish got 17 inches in a few hours. In Mississippi, forecasters said 8 inches of rain had fallen in parts of Jasper and Jones counties by Monday, with several more inches possible. "The South Delta has become an ocean," Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant wrote on Twitter on Monday. (Scientists try to gauge Barry's lasting effects.)

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