President Donald Trump declared a federal state of emergency in Louisiana Thursday night in preparation for then-Tropical Storm Barry, the Daily Caller reported.
The storm was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane Saturday morning ahead of landfall.
75 mile-per-hour sustained winds are possible at landfall. The state of emergency declaration allows the state to use federal money and resources to prepare for and deal with the storm.
Landfall will be west of New Orleans but close enough to cause damage in areas still recovering from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Mississippi River is expected to crest to 19 feet, just short of levees that range from 20 to 25 feet.
Heavy rains have already flooding in parts of New Orleans this week, and the Mississippi River is already at 16 feet because of an unusually rainy season.
Governor Edwards Grateful
Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards thanked Trump on Twitter for his quick action in declaring the state of emergency.
Edwards had declared a statewide state of emergency on Wednesday in advance of the storm.
Thank you President Trump for quickly responding to my request for a federal disaster declaration. This will help us better coordinate and respond to the incoming storm. #lagov #lalege #lawx https://t.co/55PI4hEXry
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) July 12, 2019
Dozens of parishes in Louisiana have also declared emergencies. New Orleans issued a “shelter in place” order Friday at 8 p.m.
Grand Isle south of New Orleans was evacuated and had no power on Friday night. The town was already beginning to see flooding.
Trump Says “Be Safe”
The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are already working on disaster relief efforts related to Barry.
Trump tweeted to Louisiana residents that they should “heed the directions of @FEMA, state & local officials” and “Be safe.”
To everyone on the Gulf Coast: As you make preparations to protect your homes & loved ones from flooding & the coming storm, it is imperative that you heed the directions of @FEMA, State & Local Officials. We are working closely w/ them. Please be prepared, be careful, & be SAFE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2019
Up to 20 inches of rain is expected with the storm. “Look, there are three ways that Louisiana floods: storm surge, high rivers and rain,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said to CNN Thursday. “We’re going to have all three.”