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Tropical Storm Barry to hit New Orleans: President Trump declares emergency

Christian Fernsby |
President Trump declared a federal emergency for Louisiana, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts ahead of the strengthening of Tropical Storm Barry.

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Trump approved the federal assistance at the request of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who noted that 28 parishes had issued emergency declarations and 14 were in the process of doing so. Residents have been stacking sandbags or fleeing to higher ground in preparation for torrential downpours, with heavy flooding expected once the storm makes landfall from the Gulf of Mexico either late Friday or early Saturday.

New Orleans residents stocked up on supplies and prepared their homes on Friday.

Barry will likely strengthen into a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said, with winds of at least 74 mph (119 km) by the time it reaches the central Louisiana coast on Saturday.

It was forecast to bring a coastal storm surge into the mouth of the lower Mississippi River that winds through the heart of New Orleans, pushing its crest to 19 feet (5.79 m) on Saturday. That would be the highest since 1950 and dangerously close to the top of the city’s levees.

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