New Orleans Is Flooding, And A Brewing Storm Could Bring Severe Damage This Weekend

A potential tropical cyclone forming in the Gulf of Mexico could slam into the coast by the weekend.

Hours of intense rain soaked New Orleans Wednesday, flooding streets and shuttering downtown stores as the city braces for more damage in the coming days from a storm brewing off the Gulf Coast.

Weather experts warn the potential tropical cyclone could strengthen into a hurricane in time to slam into the coast by the weekend.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency Wednesday in preparation for the arrival of the weather system.

The looming storm is predicted to bring strong winds and more rain. It's also expected to swell the Mississippi River, with forecasts predicting the river will crest around 20 feet on Saturday. This would threaten New Orleans’ levees of similar height.

The name "Barry" is reserved for the potential storm. No named storm has made landfall this year since hurricane season officially began in June.

BREAKING The Mississippi River is now forecast to crest near 20 feet on Saturday. Average levee height for New Orleans is 20 feet. #Barry @FOX8NOLA @spann

David Bernard via Twitter / Via Twitter: @DavidBernardTV

Wednesday’s rainfall was only “indirectly related” to the brewing storm, said Andrew Orrison, a National Weather Service meteorologist. River flooding is a concern for the weekend "unless things change drastically,” NWS hydrologist Jeff Graschel told BuzzFeed News.

Wednesday's extreme storm brought up to 8 inches of rain to some areas within three hours, according to the city. Earlier in the day, the NWS issued flash flood, thunderstorm, and tornado warnings for New Orleans and the surrounding areas.

The result was widespread flooding, such as to shop-lined Magazine Street and tourist favorite Bourbon Street.

More of flooding businesses on Magazine Street in New Orleans. This is in the 3100 block, headed from Uptown toward the Lower Garden District. One of the businesses passed was @Funrockn. @NOLAnews

Della Hasselle via Twitter / Via Twitter: @dellahasselle

The emptiest I’ve ever seen Bourbon Street. The majority of the businesses I walked past had at least a few inches of water inside. #NBCNews

Morgan Chesky via twitter / Via Twitter: @BreakingChesky

The city's Sewerage & Water Board, which manages the pumps, said that the pumping stations "were fully manned throughout the storm."

Still a lot of water on the streets in Treme. Be careful if you have to be on the roads. ⁦@WWLTV⁩

Paul Murphy via Twitter / Via Twitter: @PMurphyWWL

City officials warned people to stay off the roads. Some people ditched their cars for kayaks and boats.

Sorry, it was taken near Tracey’s at Third Street, 2 blocks from Washington.

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