The Latest: Tropical Storm Barry nears, thousands lose power

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The Latest on Tropical Storm Barry (all times local):

3:50 a.m.

Tropical Storm Barry continues to move toward the Louisiana coast as forecasters expect it to make landfall as a hurricane.

A 4 a.m. Saturday advisory from the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Barry was around 55 miles (90 kilometers) southwest of Morgan City, near where it’s expected to make landfall later Saturday morning.

According to the advisory, the storm is expected to move northward through the Mississippi Valley through Sunday night, although steady weakening is expected as it moves inland from the south-central coast. The edges of the storm have already started lashing Louisiana with rain and left some coastal roads underwater.

The storm was 165 miles (260 kilometers) west of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (105 kph) and higher gusts.


3:05 a.m.

A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order barring Iberville Parish from deploying AquaDams that East Baton Rouge Parish says could increase flooding within its own borders.

Late Friday and hours before Tropical Storm Barry was expected to make landfall on the southern Louisiana coast, a judge ruled that the water-filled flood control barriers could cause substantial property damage and loss of life in the neighboring parish.

Iberville Parish President Mitch Ourso had planned to erect the AquaDams along Bayou Manchac, to prevent flooding in the Spanish Lake area. East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome told The Advocate she didn’t want to sue but had heard from worried constituents.

Ourso told WBRZ-TV he would abide by the ruling.

The judge set a hearing for Monday afternoon.


2:15 a.m.

More than 30,000 people have lost power in Louisiana as Tropical Storm Barry moves closer to landfall on the south-central coast.

According to Entergy Louisiana’s outages map, more than 29,000 customers had been affected by power outages as of 2:11 a.m., local time, Saturday. The biggest outages were in Jefferson, Lafourche, Assumption and Terrebone parishes, all located in southern Louisiana.

The parishes are east of Morgan City, where Barry is expected to make landfall as a hurricane later Saturday morning.

The utility serving the area around and west of Morgan City, Cleco Power, indicated more than 3,000 people had been affected by power outages as of 2:10 a.m.

The outages coincided with National Weather Service-issued tornado warnings for three parishes bordering Jefferson Parish to the west, near New Orleans. The warnings expired at 2:15 after the storm moved out of the area.


2 a.m.

The National Weather Service has again extended tornado warnings in the New Orleans area as Tropical Storm Barry moves toward the southern Louisiana coast.

The latest bulletin Saturday morning moved the tornado warnings north, from northwestern Plaquemines Parish and southwestern St. Bernard Parish to northwestern St. Bernard Parish and central Orleans Parish.

The agency said a “severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado” was located east of Chalmette, moving north at 50 mph (80 kph). The updated bulletin said the storm would near New Orleans around 2:15 a.m. local time.

Residents were advised to take cover immediately. The agency said pea-sized hail could accompany the winds.

Barry is expected to make landfall near Morgan City later Saturday morning.


1:40 a.m.

As Tropical Storm Barry inches toward the southern Louisiana coast, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing tornadoes is moving toward New Orleans.

The National Weather Service issued a bulletin extending tornado warnings for St. Bernard Parish and Plaquemines Parish early Saturday.

The original bulletin said a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Port Sulphur in Plaquemines Parish, moving north at 50 mph. An update 15 minutes later said the thunderstorm would near New Orleans near 2 a.m. local time.

Residents were advised to take cover immediately. The agency said pea-sized hail could accompany the winds.

Barry is expected to make landfall near Morgan City later Saturday morning.


1:25 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued tornado warnings for parishes in the New Orleans area as Tropical Storm Barry approaches the southern Louisiana coast.

The agency issued tornado warnings for southwestern St. Bernard Parish and northwestern Plaquemines Parish early Saturday. A bulletin said a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Port Sulphur in Plaquemines Parish, moving north at 50 mph. The bulletin said winds could be accompanied by pea-sized hail.

Residents were advised to take cover immediately. The advisory was in effect until 1:30 a.m., local time.

Barry is expected to make landfall later Saturday morning near Morgan City.


1:10 a.m.

Tropical Storm Barry continued to inch toward the Louisiana coast as forecasters expect it to make landfall as a hurricane.

An early Saturday advisory from the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Barry was around 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of Morgan City, near where it’s expected to make landfall later Saturday morning.

According to the advisory, the storm is expected to move northward through the Mississippi Valley through Sunday night, although steady weakening is expected as it moves inland from the south-central coast. The edges of the storm have already started lashing Louisiana with rain and left some coastal roads underwater.

The storm is currently 125 miles (200 kilometers) west of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (105 kph) and higher gusts.


11:35 p.m.

People have boarded up buildings and braced for a strengthening Tropical Storm Barry that threatened millions as it churned a path ashore.

The storm is testing efforts to guard against flooding since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans 14 years ago.

Officials predicted Barry would make landfall Saturday morning near Morgan City as the first hurricane of the season.

The edges of the storm have already started lashing Louisiana with rain and left some coastal roads underwater.

But late Friday night, residents received good news from forecasters. Experts predict the Mississippi River will crest in New Orleans at about 17.1 feet (5.2 meters), not 19 feet (5.8 meters) as had been earlier predicted.

The levees protecting the city range from about 20 to 25 feet (6 to 7.5 meters) in height.

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