UPDATED 7:31 AM PT – Monday, July 15 , 2019
Weather experts say Storm Barry hasn’t been as devastating as originally predicted, but are still heeding southerners to take caution. The storm downgraded to a tropical depression late Sunday, shortly after making landfall as a Category One hurricane.
11 million people were still under flash flood watch late Sunday night, and at least 55,000 people across Louisiana still remain without power. Tornado warnings are also still in effect. Three to six inches of rain are expected in the lower Mississippi River Valley into Arkansas Monday, while meteorologists say parts of south central Louisiana could see up to 12 to 15 inches of rain.
First responders reportedly conducted rescues for more than 90 people, but no weather-related deaths have been reported so far. Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan paid a visit to Nation Guard members Sunday to thank them for their hard work.
“The FEMA team supporting the state in technically executed response has indicated that there are no unmet needs — a ll of our life lines, transportation, power, communications are all up and running, going well,” he stated. “Our shelter numbers are dwindling already, which is a very good sign — so, we are going to keep monitoring it closely, but the response, I think, is going very well I would credit local officials and the governor of Louisiana for their efforts.”
In the meantime, Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards said rescue officials should remain vigilant despite weather conditions being less serious than expected.
“Right now, we are very much in the response mode, not the recovery mode, and I don’t want to venture a guess as to what areas were impacted the most,” he explained. “So, we are going to be out and about and that’s why this really isn’t over — it’s also one of the reasons why the National Guard can’t just all go home tonight.”
Around 3,000 National Guard members remain deployed across Louisiana in the event the weather worsens.