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David Grunfeld, The Advocate
Vehicles are stuck in floodwaters along South Galvez Street as heavy rain falls, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in New Orleans.

SALT LAKE CITY — New Orleans may be in store for a torrential downpour and a storm surge all at once, prompting worries about flooding and potential damage in the area, according to USA Today.

What’s going on: Tropical Storm Barry is on track to hit Louisiana early Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane. But it won’t be wind that causes issues for the city — it’ll be the heavy rain and storm surge that will roll through. After all, it is possible Barry will remain a tropical storm when it finally hits the shores.

  • “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,” according to the National Weather Service.

For example, water could rise by the following numbers:

  • 3 to 6 feet above ground from the Atchafalaya River to Shell Beach
  • 2 to 4 feet from Shell Beach to the Mississippi-Alabama border
  • 2 to 4 feet at Lake Pontchartrain

But then: There’s also the Mississippi River to consider. The National Weather Service said levels may rise to 19 feet (it previously forecasted a rise to 20 feet, so there’s that).


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"It is a dangerous scenario within which the storm-driven water rise will coincide with Mississippi River levels already running well above normal, tipping the scales to produce flooding,” according to The Washington Post.

“The Mississippi is already at a fairly high flood stage going into this,” Phil Grigsby, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in New Orleans, told The Washington Post. “Typically this time of year, it would be below 10 feet, since spring flooding would have normally stopped by now. But it’s a lot higher thanks to this year’s flooding in the Midwest and Plains states.”