Tropical Storm Barry knocks out power for all of Grand Isle

Tropical Storm Barry gains little more wind speed, expected to strengthen into hurricane Friday

This satellite image provided by Nasa taken by US Astronaut Christina Koch on July 11, shows Tropical Storm Barry as it bears down on Texas and Louisiana.

There have been reports of downed power lines on the island, Sabatini said, but flooding on Highway 1 and other areas has prevented crews from accessing the island. Cantrell, a Democrat, said at a news conference she believes climate change is making storms worse. "The challenge is just getting there to assess the damage at this point, so it might be a little while before we have a more solid idea of what's going on there".

In low-lying areas like Plaquemines Parish, 10,000 people have been ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm. The hurricane center says additional strengthening is expected and the storm is forecast to be a hurricane when its center reaches the coast.

The Mississippi River is already running abnormally high because of heavy spring rains and snowmelt upstream, and the ground around New Orleans is soggy because of an 8-inch drenching on Wednesday.

Tanya Gulliver-Garcia, of New Orleans' Broadmoor neighborhood, had a planned trip to NY, with a flight out Friday evening.

The EPA, which is in change of toxic waste sites and was forced to address flooded sites that released unsafe chemicals into waters during Hurricane Harvey, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Barry. "It's always been about the rain".

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"I really don't think it's going to be too bad", she told CNN.

Larry Gumpert, the 74-year-old owner of a pest-control company, said he planned to hunker down at home, cooking and catching up on household chores. He lived through Hurricane Katrina, and like so many residents, isn't taking any chances again.

"The water over land actually helps the storm", Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, a federally funded office, said about the double-whammy. They said Delta is a lifetime commitment, so they have plenty of time.

The level of Lake Pontchartrain, an estuary on the city's northern flank, rose by 3 feet on Friday, triggering the closure of a flood gate on a canal that breached during Katrina, said Derrick Boese, chief administrator for the local flood control agency.

Barry's downpours could prove to be a severe test of the improvements made to New Orleans' flood defenses since the city was devastated by Katrina in 2005.

"My house is raised, and being this close to the river we typically don't have too many problems", he said. "These rains are expected to lead to risky, life-threatening flooding over portions of the central Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley".

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