Expect waves of rain and storms Saturday afternoon

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Tropical Storm Barry might be a fairly weak hurricane when it makes landfall in Louisiana late Friday or early Saturday - but people in its path are far more anxious about flood risks from its heavy rains and storm surge than the damage its winds could cause. According to the National Hurricane Center, unsafe storm surges, heavy rains and strong winds are expected across the north-central Gulf Coast.

On Wednesday and Thursday flash floods caused chaos in New Orleans as the city was hit by eight inches of rain.

In New Orleans, where 50 levees failed in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina, Mayor LaToya Cantrel is warning residents that water is going to be their biggest threat.

Barry could have winds of about 75 miles per hour (120 kph), just barely over the 74 miles per hour threshold for a hurricane, when it comes ashore, making it a Category 1 storm, forecasters said.

"Water, we have a bunch of nuts and things", he says. He lived through Hurricane Katrina, and like so many residents, isn't taking any chances again.

Tanya Gulliver-Garcia, a resident of the city's Broadmoor neighborhood, had already planned to fly Friday night to NY.

Tropical Storm Barry continues to move extremely slowly to the northwest on Saturday morning.

The storm could give New Orleans its worst drenching in decades, possibly eclipsing the city's wettest day on record - 12.24 inches - on May 8, 1995, forecasters said. This threat includes New Orleans.

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. Tropical storm force wind gusts are being felt across southeastern Louisiana.

"It's deeper than they believe it to be, and also there's current that sometimes is imperceptible", Edwards said.

"This storm is stressing them out", she said.

Levee floodgates normally left open to allow passage of traffic were being closed, along with a giant ocean surge barrier erected after Katrina.

The large storm system now in the Gulf of Mexico is bringing heavy rains, a potential storm surge, and flooding that pose a threat reminiscent of 2005's deadly Hurricane Katrina. But many residents aren't too eager to leave.

It is impossible to know exactly where the heaviest rain will fall, but any areas in Louisiana or MS or surrounding states that get one or two feet of rain will suffer major flooding, and the best evidence says, that's what people have to be prepared for. "We can cook and eat without electricity".

The company said it also pre-loads trucks with more supplies and stages them outside the area hit by the storm so they can deliver them to affected areas as quickly as possible.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered along the coast between Intracoastal City to St. Bernard Parish, including Plaquemines Parish. And though water piled up briefly on some streets, the storm was a good test of the drainage system, Edwards said.

"We could see an uptick in prices over the next few days", says Shawn Steward with AAA (Triple-A) Kansas.

The National Weather Service tweeted that there is "danger of a life-threatening storm surge along the coast of southern and southeastern Louisiana ... and portions of coastal MS".

The Florida Panhandle has seen double red flags go up in some areas, closing beaches, the weather service said.

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