Some portions of Louisiana were already experiencing flooding as early as Friday afternoon, according to AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer, who was stationed near Chauvin, Louisiana, about an hour south of New Orleans.
Additional strengthening of Barry is forecast prior to landfall Saturday morning. If maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or greater are detected, the storm will be classified as a hurricane.
AccuWeather meteorologists believe that Barry will make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane along the central Louisiana coast.
In New Orleans, neither mandatory nor voluntary evacuations have been ordered, as the city’s mayor, Latoya Cantrell, advised residents to shelter in place. Cantrell said the city only enacts evacuations for hurricanes of Category 3 force or higher, according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale. “Therefore, sheltering in place is our strategy,” the mayor told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.
If Barry maintains the track it’s currently on, the storm could make landfall on Marsh Island, Louisiana, in Vermilion Bay, about 100 miles west of New Orleans.