About 400 people living along a Louisiana highway are ordered to evacuate despite Storm Barry continues to weaken as it treks inland towards central Louisiana.
The order came after multiple reports emerged of levees overtopping in Terrebonne and Plaquemines parishes.
Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove issued a mandatory evacuation order for all areas along Louisiana Highway 315.
Much of the state’s coastal area have felt the impact from the storm after Barry made landfall in the US.
All of Morgan City – home to over 12,000 people – is currently without power, according to nola.com.
Los Angeles State Police posted on Twitter to reminded people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.
The post read: “As night falls and the severe weather continues across Louisiana, Troopers are stressing to drivers not to travel unless absolutely necessary.
“Remember to watch for downed trees and power lines. One should always assume that a fallen power line is live.”
Storm Barry is moving to the north to northwest at 40mph after it has weakened from a hurricane.
New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas are expected to feel the effects of Barry late into Saturday night through Sunday, it is reported.
National Weather Service New Orleans has issued a tornado warning until 9:45pm local time as a band of heavy rain battered the region.
The National Hurricane Center, which had labelled Barry the first Atlantic hurricane of 2019 just hours earlier, said the storm came ashore near Intracoastal City in Louisiana with 70mph winds.
The NHC expected a further weakening to a tropical depression on Sunday as Barry moved inland and the threat of major flooding from the historically high Mississippi River overtopping levees appeared to have passed.
More than 121,000 people were without power in Louisiana as of 4pm on Saturday, according to the state’s largest energy companies.
Entergy Louisiana reported that about 74,000 of its customers were affected by power failures and mostly in the southern part of the state.
Two other power companies reported a combined 47,000 customers affected, according to the New York Times.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards warned residents not to take the storm lightly and that the state and levees in New Orleans were ready for impact and should withstand the floodwaters.
He wrote in a post on Twitter Saturday: “There have been NO levee failures in Plaquemines Parish.
“There are isolated issues of flooding that state and local officials anticipated and are actively addressing.”
Becky Broussard, homeland security director for Vermilion Parish, said the lone road leading to the town had flooded as Barry made landfall at Intracoastal City on late Saturday morning, it is reported.
She said: “We’re still not out of the woods yet.”
She added that the parish is moving all emergency vehicles, including 15 fire engines, to higher ground to ensure they’re safe from flooding.
The Mississippi River crested on Friday night in New Orleans at just under 17 feet (5.18 meters), the National Weather
Service said, much lower than a prediction earlier this week of 20 feet (6.1 meters), near the height of the city’s levees.
The river was expected to surge again to about 17 feet on Monday, the weather service said.
Streets and businesses were flooded along Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville, just north of New Orleans, according to a Reuters witness.
US President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for Louisiana on Friday, freeing up federal disaster assistance if needed.
Authorities had urged New Orleans residents to secure property, stock up on provisions and shelter in place.
Some chose to flee the city, and tourism officials reported an exodus of out-of-town visitors on Friday.
The New Orleans Airport said all flights in and out on Saturday had been cancelled but most airlines were planning to resume operations on Sunday, weather permitting.