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New Orleans pumps working at 10-15 inches or rain forecast

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on a tropical weather system in the Gulf of Mexico (all times local):

11:55 a.m.

The mayor of New Orleans says the city’s water pumps are “working at optimal capacity” as Tropical Storm Barry moves toward the state’s Gulf coast.

But speaking at a Thursday news conference, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell added that flooding is a threat because slow-moving, heavy rains are expected from the storm.

National Weather Service meteorologist says New Orleans could get 10 to 15 inches of rain Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Some isolated areas could see 20 inches.

Barry could hit Louisiana as a weak hurricane over the weekend.

  • Eric Ehlenberger, a physician and neon artist, goes through his damaged home in New Orleans on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, following a storm that swamped the city and paralyzed traffic. Ehlenberger said his wife was able to crawl out safely. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • People cope with the aftermath of severe weather in the Broadmoor neighborhood in New Orleans, Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (Nick Reimann/The Advocate via AP)
  • Frank Conforto Jr. walks in the parking lot of the University Medical Center (UMC) with the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the background on Glavez Street in New Orleans after flooding from a storm Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of tropical weather that could dump as much as 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain in the state over the coming days. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • A truck passes by the University Medical Center (UMC) with the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the background on Glavez Street in New Orleans after flooding from a storm Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of tropical weather that could dump as much as 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain in the state over the coming days. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • An NOPD cruiser blocks the underpass at S. Carrollton Ave. in New Orleans as severe thunderstorms caused street flooding, Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (Max Becherer/The Advocate via AP)
  • A man walks through standing water at the intersection at Franklin Ave. and 610 in New Orleans after a severe thunderstorm caused street flooding Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (Max Becherer/The Advocate via AP)
  • A woman walks along S. Carrollton Ave. in New Orleans where cars are parked on the neutral ground to keep from flooding caused by severe thunderstorms, Wednesday, July 10, 2019.A storm swamped streets in New Orleans and prompted a tornado warning near the city Wednesday as concerns grew that even worse weather is on the way to Louisiana and other states along the Gulf of Mexico. (Max Becherer/The Advocate via AP)
  • Motorists react in New Orleans react as the intersection at Franklin Ave. and 610 floods after a severe thunderstorm Wednesday, July 10, 2019. A storm swamped streets in New Orleans and prompted a tornado warning near the city Wednesday as concerns grew that even worse weather is on the way to Louisiana and other states along the Gulf of Mexico. (Max Becherer/The Advocate via AP)

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10:05 a.m.

Tropical Storm Barry has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and forecasters say it could become a hurricane as it threatens Louisiana’s coast.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm’s maximum sustained winds Thursday morning are near 40 mph with additional strengthening expected during the next day or two.

A tropical storm warning is now in effect for the Louisiana coast from the mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City.

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9:40 a.m.

Plaquemines Parish spokeswoman Jade Duplessis says about 8,000 to 10,000 parish residents are under a mandatory evacuation order as a potential tropical storm brews in the Gulf of Mexico and half of them may need help.

All of the parish’s east bank and part of its west bank are under mandatory evacuation orders.

The parish government has set up pickup points on both sides of the Mississippi River. From there, school buses will take people to a registration point and then to evacuation centers.

Duplessis says cats and dogs will be taken in separate vehicles and if owners don’t have their own travel crates, the parish will provide them.

The evacuation order took effect at 6 a.m. Thursday. Duplessis says officials hope everyone is out by Friday afternoon.

The disturbance in the Gulf is expected to develop into a tropical storm late Thursday and could hit southern Louisiana as a weak hurricane this weekend.

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9:05 a.m.

The mayor of a barrier island town on Louisiana’s coast has ordered a mandatory evacuation as a potential tropical storm brews in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mayor David Camardelle’s order takes effect at noon Thursday on Grand Isle, which is accessible only by boat or a single flood-prone state highway.

Other low-lying areas of coastal Louisiana including the towns of Lafitte, Crown Point and Barataria also came under evacuation orders Thursday.

That follows similar orders Wednesday for parts of Plaquemines Parish,. The Mississippi River runs through the parish and could overtop some levees.

The disturbance in the Gulf is expected to develop into a tropical storm late Thursday and could hit southern Louisiana as a weak hurricane this weekend.

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8:10 a.m.

Carnival Cruise Line says it rerouted a cruise ship headed to New Orleans because of the potential tropical storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Miami-based company says the more than 3,700-passenger Carnival Valor was sent to Mobile, Alabama, in the interest of safety. A company statement notes that coastal Louisiana is under a hurricane watch and water levels are high on the Mississippi River.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson tweeted a welcome to Valor passengers and a photo of the ship docked in Mobile on Thursday.

Carnival says arriving passengers will be taken from Mobile to New Orleans on complimentary buses.

The ship was supposed to depart Thursday from New Orleans on its next four-day cruise to Cozumel, Mexico. Instead, passengers will be taken to Mobile by bus from New Orleans.

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12 a.m.

A potential tropical storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico presents twin troubles for parts of southeast Louisiana.

It could contribute to the rising of an already high Mississippi River, with water reaching the tops of levees this weekend. And there is also the widespread danger of flash floods like the one that walloped New Orleans on Wednesday. Officials said that storm dumped as much as 8 inches in parts of the metro area in three hours.

The Gulf disturbance that spawned the floods was forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm by Thursday night.

Forecasters said Louisiana could see up to 12 inches of rain by Monday. Some areas could get 18 inches.

Mississippi and Texas were also at risk of torrential rains.

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