Barry weakens, but risk of major flooding continues. New Orleans flights return to normal


NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Tropical Storm Barry’s winds weakened slightly to 40 mph (65 kph) as of 11 a.m. Sunday, but the risks associated with the storm – including flooding and tornadoes – are sparking new concerns.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its Sunday advisory that the storm’s center was located about 50 miles (85 kilometers) south-southeast of Shreveport, Louisiana, and was moving north at 9 mph (15 kph).

The center discontinued a storm surge warning it had issued from Intracoastal City to the mouth of the Atchafalaya River.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of Louisiana including East Baton Rouge until 10:30 a.m. CDT. A flash flood warning was in effect for Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, and Vermilion parishes until 1:15 p.m. CDT.

Flights are arriving and departing again from the New Orleans airport as Tropical Storm Barry heads north.

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport said in a statement Sunday morning that most airlines are returning to normal operations. The airport is advising passengers to arrive at least two hours early as they could encounter long lines.

Delta Air Lines spokesman Drake Castañeda said Sunday that the Atlanta-based company resumed normal operations in New Orleans Saturday night. Castañeda said Delta flights from Atlanta and New York landed in New Orleans shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday.

President Donald Trump is urging Gulf Coast residents to be careful as Barry continues dropping rain across the region.

In a Sunday morning tweet, Trump said: “A big risk of major flooding in large parts of Louisiana and all across the Gulf Coast. Please be very careful!”

The storm’s center is moving over Louisiana on Sunday morning and is expected to move over Arkansas overnight and into Monday.

In its latest update, the National Hurricane Center said the storm is expected to become a tropical depression as it loses energy while moving over land Sunday. Barry’s maximum sustained winds were at 45 mph (72 kph) as of 7 a.m. CDT Sunday. But forecasters say the flood threat will continue, partly because of the slow movement of the storm.

A severe thunderstorm embedded in one of Barry’s outer bands began rotating over Mississippi before dawn Sunday, prompting a tornado warning.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage.

The National Weather Service in Jackson says the storm early Sunday morning was capable of producing a tornado near the small town of Ellisville, Mississippi.

Ellisville is about 85 miles (137 kilometers) southeast of Jackson.

Earlier Sunday morning, Forecasters say Tropical Storm Barry prompted a flash flood warning that covers Mississippi’s capital city.

The National Weather Service said early Sunday that up to 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) of rain had already fallen in the Jackson area – and more was on the way.

Before dawn Sunday, a narrow band of heavy rain was still streaming north through Jackson. The weather service said that could bring an additional 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain to the area.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center’s 4 a.m. advisory says Barry was centered around 80 miles (125 kilometers) southeast of Shreveport, Louisiana.

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