Tropical Storm Barry gradually weakened into a tropical depression Sunday, but forecasters said it was still expected to dump 2-6 inches of rainfall throughout Southwest Louisiana through Monday.

Roger Erickson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, said during a briefing that Barry's projected rainfall extends from Beaumont, Texas, east to Alexandria. He said some local areas may get as much as 10-12 inches of rainfall.

Wind gusts of 30-45 miles per hour were projected in the area.

As of Sunday, coastal flooding remained a major problem in Vermilion, Iberia and St. Mary parishes, Erickson said.

"They experienced significant flooding, overtopping levees and evacuation of people behind the levees," he said. "Also, the winds were stronger, causing more power outages from Morgan City to Alexandria."

Because the storm's wind shifted south, he said Cameron Parish was experiencing minor coastal flooding and isolated threats of tornadoes. Erickson said coastal flooding may continue through the first part of this week, especially during high tides.

Rain bands from Barry are expected to continue into today, but should dissipate as the storm continues to move north out of the area. There were sustained winds of 40 miles per hour on Sunday, but they weakened throughout the day as it moved into Arkansas.

Since Friday, rainfall amounts have varied from 2 to 8 inches across Cameron, Vermilion, Iberia, St. Mary, Jeff Davis, Acadia, Lafayette, St. Martin, Evangeline, St. Landry and Avoyelles parishes.

Calcasieu Parish Government and Cameron Parish Reporter

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