Tropical Storm Barry is the first to threaten the U.S. in 2019. It has intensified and could possibly turn into a hurricane. It's expected to affect the Gulf Coast from now into the weekend with threats of rainfall flooding, storm-surge flooding, and high winds to parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours. A watch has been issued for southern Louisiana from the mouth of Mississippi River northward to the mouth of the Pearl River which is at the border of Mississippi.
The tropical storm is slow moving, currently across the Gulf at 5 mph. The storm will hover over the same place for a long time, dropping excessive amounts of rain and adding to widespread flooding. NWS had issued a flash flood emergency for most of the New Orleans area. Parts of the city picked up over 10 inches of rain in just a short time causing widespread street flooding.
What is in store as the storm continues on?
Based on reports from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm is expected to upgrade sometime today. This possible tropical storm is expected to head westward or northwestward through the northern Gulf of Mexico in the direction of Louisiana or Mississippi.
It is expected to hit landfall by this Saturday, in the early morning into the evening but can’t rule out the possibility of it hitting landfall Friday night.
The impact the storm could cause 10 to 15 inches of additional rainfall throughout these areas next week. Flash flood watches have been posted along areas of the Gulf Coast from the Florida western Panhandle to southern Louisiana.
How this storm could affect gas prices?
Many of the oil rigs in the Gulf are compromised do to the storm. “Offshore oil and gas operations in the Gulf are evacuating their facilities,” the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said. Oil companies have evacuated 15 production platforms and four rigs so far. Three of the 20 rigs operating in the Gulf have moved out the storm’s path.
On Wednesday oil prices rose above $60 per barrel with concerns the storm could derail crude production in the Gulf.