Barry Still Poses Flood, Tornado Risks 07/15 06:21

Barry Still Poses Flood, Tornado Risks 07/15 06:21

   NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Even though Tropical Depression Barry did not unleash 
catastrophic flooding in Louisiana, many across the Gulf Coast were urged to 
take heed of tornado and flash-flood warnings Monday as the storm moved north.

   Barry was downgraded from a tropical storm on Sunday afternoon but continued 
to pose a threat. Much of Louisiana and Mississippi were under flash-flood 
watches, as were parts of Arkansas, eastern Texas, western Tennessee and 
southeastern Missouri.

   Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards urged residents to be cautious as they 
ventured outside after a weekend in which many had sheltered indoors.

   He said he was "extremely grateful" that the storm had not caused the 
disastrous floods that had earlier been forecast. More than 90 people had been 
rescued in 11 parishes, but there were no reports of weather-related 
fatalities, Edwards said.

   "This was a storm that obviously could have played out very, very 
differently," he said. "We're thankful that the worst-case scenario did not 

   Forecasters warned of a continued threat of heavy rains into Monday as the 
center of the storm trudged inland. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said 
Sunday parts of south-central Louisiana could still have rainfall totals of up 
to 12 inches (30 centimeters), with isolated pockets of 15 inches (38 

   In Mississippi, forecasters said 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain had 
fallen in parts of Jasper and Jones counties, with several more inches possible.

   Barry's center was moving from northern Louisiana into Arkansas.

   New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Sunday the city was "beyond lucky" 
that rainfall there fell well short of early predictions of a deluge that could 
overwhelm the city's pumping systems.

   "We were spared," she said at a news conference, while noting the city was 
ready to help nearby parishes hit harder.

   About 51,000 customers in Louisiana, 1,800 customers in Mississippi and 
another 1,700 customers in Arkansas were without power Sunday night, according 

   Edwards thanked the public for taking officials' warnings seriously over the 
weekend, but he also reminded residents that it is still relatively early in 
the Atlantic's hurricane season.

   "Based on what we've experienced, I think (we will be) even better prepared 
for next time --- and we do know that there will be a next time," Edwards said.


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