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Memories of Hurricane Katrina come back to haunt residents as the latest storm hits Louisiana.


Barry was officially upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm is set to make landfall in Louisiana soon, as the Gulf Coast braces for a slow-moving storm that could bring nearly two feet of rain throughout the weekend.

The National Hurricane Center said Barry has winds of 75 mph. The storm continues to crawl northward at 6 mph, and officials worry the slow movement will cause the system to continuously dump water on an area that already dealt with flooding earlier this week.

The Center expects the storm to remain in the Gulf Coast area through Sunday before it moves northward.

PHOTOS: Hurricane Barry nears landfall in Louisiana

Evacuations ordered and National Guard members called up

Across the region, cities and parishes have issued mandatory evacuation orders, especially in low-lying areas and those outside public levee protection, along with voluntary evacuation warnings for other places, the governor said. For the first time since their construction, all major floodgates on the Mississippi River are closed, he added.

The state’s forces also have mobilized in anticipation of search and rescue missions, he said.

A rescue already was underway midmorning Saturday — and more calls for help had come in — in coastal Terrebonne Parish, east of Morgan City, the US Coast Guard said. At least a dozen people needed to be saved along Island Road, effectively a bridge that traverses the marshy bayou that opens into the gulf.

Four people and a cat were picked up by a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and taken inland to Houma, Louisiana, Coast Guard Petty Officer Lexie Preston said. A 24-foot Coast Guard response boat also was launched from Morgan City to help with rescues.

Following President Donald Trump’s state of emergency declaration, Louisiana officials activated 3,000 National Guard members in anticipation of Barry, the governor said. And despite the state’s long-honed expertise in facing this sort of threat and its enhanced post-Katrina storm defenses, residents were urged to be prepared.

Canceled flights, cruises and a concert

More than 200 flights were canceled as of Saturday morning in and out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware .

Three Carnival Cruise Line ship departures scheduled for Saturday, Sunday and Monday are in limbo following the closure of ports in New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama. The cruise line said it will update passengers Saturday morning.

Meantime, the Rolling Stones postponed a Saturday concert to Monday.

“Hang on to your tickets,” the legendary band tweeted . “We’re here with you — we’ll get through this together.”



Article Courtesy of CNN and WEWS News 5 Cleveland

First and Second Picture Courtesy of SETH HERALD and Getty Images

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