NEW ORLEANS (AP) Building toward hurricane strength, Tropical Storm Barry began hitting Louisiana with wind and rain Friday as it closed in for what could be a long, slow and epic drenching that could trigger flooding in and around New Orleans.
With the storm expected to blow ashore by early Saturday as the first hurricane of the season, National Guard troops and rescue crews were posted around the state with boats, high-water vehicles and helicopters. Drinking water was lined up. Utility repair crews with bucket trucks moved into position in the region. And homeowners sandbagged their property or packed up and left.
This is happening. … Your preparedness window is shrinking, National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned. He added: Its powerful. Its strengthening. And water is going to be a big issue.