The American city of New Orleans is preparing for the arrival of the "life-threatening" tropical storm Barry. Local authorities have called on residents to stock up and take shelter at home.
Tropical storm Barry is likely to develop into a hurricane when he lands on Saturday (local time) in the southern state of Louisiana. That would make it the first Atlantic hurricane of this hurricane season.
Although the storm does not yet have hurricane winds, weather services are warning of a dangerous amount of rain. In some places, a maximum of 64 centimeters of rain can fall. It is feared that the Mississippi River, whose water level is already very high after heavy rain on Wednesday, will flood.
US President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in Louisiana earlier on Friday. Following this, oil production in the region was halved and energy companies were instructed to evacuate their offshore drilling installations. The planned concert of the Rolling Stones on Sunday evening has also been postponed due to the arrival of Barry.
No evacuations announced, the city relies on new flood defenses
According to the governor of Louisiana, Jon Bel Edwards, "no one should take this storm lightly," as Barry is likely to grow into a first-class hurricane. Meteorologists classify hurricanes according to the scale of Saffir-Simpson into categories from 1 to 5.
However, the mayor of New Orleans has not announced any evacuations. After the devastating hurricane Katrina in 2005, the low-lying coastal city received a flood defense to prevent a new natural disaster.
The fear that things will go wrong again, however, still lives within the New Orleans community. At the time, Katrina killed around 1,800 people.
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