Hurricane Barry has made landfall along the Louisiana coast on Saturday as a Category 1 storm, with 75-mile-per-hour winds and 10 to 15 inches of rainfall expected in the southern central part of the state through today.
Roger Erickson, meteorologist for the National Weather Service Lake Charles office, said during a briefing that the bulk of the “life-threatening” rainfall is forecasted in St. Mary, Iberia and St. Martin parishes. The storm is expected to move slowly northwest through Sunday and weaken to a tropical storm shortly after it moves inland. It is predicted to be northwest of Alexandria by Sunday morning.
Anticipated rainfall totals as of Saturday were 3 to 4 inches in Cameron Parish, 2 to 3 inches in Lake Charles, 4 to 6 inches in Lafayette and 1 to 1.5 inches in Beaumont.
Jeff Davis Parish, along with Acadia, Evangeline, St. Landry and Avoyelles parishes, were listed as having a moderate risk for heavy rain and flooding during Barry’s landfall. Erickson said roads may become impassible, and some homes could be infiltrated with water.
Andy Patrick, weather service meteorologist, said the main local rainfall concern centers around Barry’s position once it moves further north.
“We’ve just got to keep an eye on how these rain bands organize,” he said.
The hurricane had a slight risk for tornadoes in central and south central Louisiana on Saturday, with a marginal risk in central Louisiana on Sunday.
Hurricane force wind gusts are expected in Vermilion, Lafayette, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary parishes. Wind gusts in Southwest Louisiana and most of central Louisiana are predicted to reach 55 to 65 miles per hour, while Southeast Texas and the western part of the state will likely see 40 to 50 mile-per-hour wind gusts.
As of Saturday, Erickson said the freshwater canal locks in Vermilion Parish were running 1-2 feet above normal. Amerada Pass in St. Mary Parish was running 4-5 feet above normal.
Tides at Sabine Pass North in Jefferson County, Texas, and Calcasieu Pass in Cameron Parish are likely to see higher tides as the winds shift to the south on Sunday. He said a coastal flood advisory may be necessary.
Lee Sabatini with Entergy Louisiana said approximately 58,000 customers statewide were without power as of 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Denise Durel, president and CEO of the United Way Southwest Louisiana, said residents in need can dial 211, an information and referral service. She said 10,000 calls were made during Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in 2017.
“In this type of situation, we actually ramp up and start putting information related to the disaster,” she said.