by: Ed BloodsworthPosted: Jul 12, 2019 / 08:54 AM EDT / Updated: Jul 13, 2019 / 11:28 AM EDT
WFLA (TAMPA) – The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Barry to a Category 1 hurricane.
At 11 AM Saturday, maximum sustained winds were holding near 75 mph. The center of the storm was located near Marsh Island, LA crawling to the northwest at 6 mph.
Barry will begin to weaken as it moves onshore and pushes north into Central Louisiana. A northerly movement will continue over the next 48 hours.
The biggest hazard with Barry continues to be the water threat. Storm Surge Warning is in place from Intracoastal City to Shell Beach. The highest water rise is expected from the mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Shell Beach with 3 to 6 ft of water could rise above the tide. 2 to 4 ft of water could rise from Shell Beach to the Mississippi/Alabama Border and in Lake Pontchartrain. 3 to 5 ft is forecast from Intracoastal City to the mouth of the Atchafalaya.
As Barry moves inland over the lower Mississippi River Valley, winds will weaken quickly but the slow forward movement of the storm will increase the flooding threat from rainfall. Flash flooding and river flooding are extremely likely through early next week according to the National Hurricane Center. The forecast is calling for potentially upwards of 20 inches or more of rain to fall through Monday. The exact location of this rainfall will depend on landfall. Highest amounts will accumulate along and to the east of Barry’s center.
Storm Team 8 and the National Hurricane Center will be watching for weak but quick spin up tornadoes in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as rain bands move ashore.