Barry makes landfall on Louisiana coast as a hurricane, weakens to a tropical storm

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The National Hurricane Center continues to issue advisories for Tropical Storm Barry over the northern Gulf of Mexico. 

The storm made landfall near Intracoastal City, Louisiana, about 160 miles west of New Orleans as a 75 mph, category 1 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said.

The very slow movement, northwest at only 6 mph, creates the biggest issue. Slow movement guarantees extremely high rainfall totals along its path into Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta.

The Coast Guard rescued more than a dozen people from the remote Isle de Jean Charles, south of New Orleans, where water rose so high that some residents clung to rooftops. But in the city, locals and tourists wandered through mostly empty streets under a light rain or stayed indoors.

Video showed water overtopping a levee in Plaquemines Parish south of New Orleans, where fingers of land extend deep into the Gulf of Mexico. Officials were still confident that the levees would hold firm.

More than 70,000 customers were without power Saturday morning, including nearly 67,000 in Louisiana and more than 3,000 in Mississippi, according to

Hours earlier, the storm had strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, just above the 74 mph threshold to be a hurricane. Barry was expected to continue weakening and become a tropical depression on Sunday.

Storm surge, intense rainfall, and runoff from the Midwest will create problems along the Mississippi River. High water levels may top levees around New Orleans, which sits below sea level in some areas. Upwards of 2 feet of rain will be possible in southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi before all is said and done.

The current path of this system keeps it far enough west that North Georgia will only see limited impacts. However, rich tropical moisture will continue to pump into our area and lead to more storms this weekend until the storm system pushes off farther east. 

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.