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Barry strengthens but is still spinning out in the Gulf

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Posted at 8:20 AM, Jul 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-13 09:20:14-04

Latest information on Tropical Storm Barry

Winds: 70 mph
Gusts: 75 mph
Movement: NW at 5 mph
Pressure: 991 mb
Location: 50 miles WSW of Morgan City

With the 7am update Barry has strengthen slightly now up to 70 mph, making it a strong tropical storm.

The other major update this morning is that with Barry staying out over the Gulf and drifting more to the west the National Hurricane Center has moved the track to the west with landfall now expected near Intracoastal City in Vermilion Parish around noon Saturday afternoon as possibility a category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds.

After pushing onshore Barry will move up through Vermilion Parish and then travel up towards Duson/Rayne as a strong tropical storm with winds up to 50-60 mph.

Barry will maintain tropical storm strength even as it moves up into Evangeline and Rapides parish before it weakens down to a depression after it moves north of Alexandria.

What this westerly shift in the track means for Acadiana is more of us, including Lafayette and New Iberia, will be on the sloppy side of the system giving us a better chance to see sustained winds of 50-60 mph for much of the afternoon and evening, leading to the possibility of more power outages throughout Acadiana.

Besides the winds the westerly shift in the track also means that the likely axis of heavy rain of 10-20 inches will now move over a larger portion of Acadiana, meaning most communities need to prepare for widespread flooding.

But remember the rains will arrive later this afternoon after Barry pushes through the area but once the tropical rain bands move in we could see rainfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour, which if that continues for several hours, is what will cause the widespread flash flooding.

On top of the major concerns of the high winds and flooding rains, we are also starting to see high storm surge happening right now in St. Mary parish.

Just after 7 AM, Amerada pass, to the southeast of Burns Point, measured a storm surge of 5.8 feet and with the slow movement of Barry that will keep pushing more water up against the coast of St. Mary & Iberia parish causing sustained coastal flooding of 4-6 feet.

Lastly, this afternoon we will have to monitor the tropical rain bands for the marginal risk of a couple spin-up tornadoes to develop which could cause additional damage and power outages.

Just know that will the slow movement of Barry is that heavy rains and impacts will linger through Sunday as well so don't expect conditions to improve for Acadiana until about Monday.

Stay tuned to KATC as we will be on-air and Facebook Live all day giving you the latest information on Tropical Storm Barry.