Last updated: 7.11.2019 12:00 PM ET
Tropical Storm Barry formed Thursday morning in the northern Gulf of Mexico and may become a hurricane before landfall this weekend. Significant rainfall, flash flooding, high winds and storm surge are expected to impact parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Hurricane watches are in effect in southern Louisiana from the mouth of the Mississippi River westward to Cameron, Louisiana. A tropical storm warning has been issued for a portion of the southern Louisiana coast from the mouth of the Pearl River at the border with Mississippi to Morgan City, Louisiana. Tropical storm watches are in effect for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, in addition to a section of southeastern Louisiana from the mouth of the Mississippi River northward to the mouth of the Pearl River at the border with Mississippi. This watch includes the New Orleans metro area and Lake Pontchartrain.
A storm-surge warning has been issued for a portion of the southeast and south-central Louisiana coast from Shell Beach along the shore of Lake Borgne to the mouth of the Atchafalaya River. Storm-surge watches are in effect from Shell Beach, Louisiana, to the Mississippi/Alabama border and also from the mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Intracoastal City, Louisiana. It does not include Lake Pontchartrain.
For the latest forecast information, click here.
For an interactive storm map, click here.
What You Can Do Now
- If you have a generator, confirm that it is fueled up or that its permanent fuel supply line is unobstructed. Test the generator before the storm hits to ensure it is working properly.
- If you have storm shutters, put them in place now; do not wait for inclement weather to begin.
- Bring outdoor furniture, decorations, grills, trash cans and other belongings inside. Remove loose branches or fencing that could fly free.
- Ensure any outdoor drains, gutters, downspouts and window wells around your home are clear of debris so that any accumulation of water has a place to go.
- Remove small furniture, electronics, area rugs and other items from the floor. Raise drapes and curtains or put the bottoms in trash bags and tie them tightly. If you have the resources, place furniture and appliances up on masonry blocks or concrete.
- Place valuable belongings in a central room that is not directly under the roof, such as a walk-in closet or bathroom.
- Close all interior doors, exterior doors and windows in order to provide your home's frame with as much stability as possible and compartmentalize any wind pressure that occurs. If you have the resources, seal any cracks or holes found along doors, windows, walls or areas where cables and pipes enter your home with silicone caulk.
- Place bags of ice in your freezer to preserve food in the event of a power outage. Freeze tap water for pets, drinking and cleaning.
If Your Home is Unoccupied
Ask your property manager, or a neighbor or trusted friend to check in on the home to ensure it's ready for the storm:
- Make sure the openings to your home are secure. If you have storm shutters for your windows, confirm they are deployed. If not, consider emergency board up if necessary. Contractors may be able to help you with this work depending on how much time you have and how many resources there are in your area.
- Ensure any outdoor furniture and other belongings are inside so as to protect it from the elements. Protect your home and property by securing other items like barbecue grills, garbage cans, fire pits, and any other freestanding, lightweight objects that can become projectiles in a windstorm.
If You Own Watercraft
- When under the threat of a windstorm, your vessel is safest when hauled out of the water and secured on land.
- Whenever possible, boats on lifts or davits should be stored ashore or moved to a safer location in the water (dock or anchorage).
- Make sure that fuel tanks are full, batteries are charged, bilge pumps are working and free of debris and that cockpit drains are clear.
- Remove and/or secure all deck gear, portable gear, radio antennas, outriggers, fighting chairs, deck boxes, bimini tops and side canvas/curtains, sails, booms, extra halyards, canister rafts and dinghies. Secure all hatches, ports and doors.
- If you can't get your watercraft to a private dock or marina to weather the storm, the best mooring location for a vessel is in the center of a canal or narrow river where at least doubled mooring lines can be secured to both shores, port and starboard, fore and aft.
- Your policy may include coverage for reasonable expenses incurred by you to move your vessel to a safe location prior to the threat of a covered peril.
Advice for Safe Driving
Water can be incredibly damaging to an engine. However, there are some easy steps that you can take to protect yourself and your property from this type of incident happening.
- Whenever possible, avoid driving in standing water. If it's unavoidable, use extreme caution.
- Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling; a foot of water will float many vehicles and could even carry them away.
- Be wary of driving through a flooded road. The depth of water is not always clear and the roadbed may have been washed away – which could lead one to be stranded if the vehicle becomes immobile.
- If you think your vehicle may have suffered water damage, remember to refrain from starting the engine until licensed mechanics can perform remedial efforts to remove any water that may have entered.