A brewing tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico brought widespread flash flooding across New Orleans on Wednesday, as forecasters warn the storm could strengthen to a hurricane by the weekend.
The National Hurricane Center said a low-pressure area over the water south of the Florida Panhandle is forecast to strengthen into Tropical Storm Barry by Thursday night, the second named storm of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Besides potential storm surge and high winds, the system is also expected to bring very heavy rainfall from the Upper Texas Coast to the Florida Panhandle, bringing the Mississippi River close to the tops of levees that protect New Orleans.
Forecasters said that parts of Louisiana could see up to 12 inches of rain by Monday, with heavier amounts possible in some spots. Mississippi and Texas were also at risk of torrential rains.