(AP) – The heaviest rains on land from lopsided Hurricane Barry have hit coastal Alabama and Mississippi the hardest.
Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier said Saturday that parts of his barrier island in Alabama are flooded from both the driving rain early Saturday and surging water from the Gulf of Mexico.
Collier was driving around in a Humvee to survey the damage. He said the island still has power and wind damage was minimal.
The Category 1 hurricane was nearing shore some 200 miles (320 kilometers) from Dauphin Island, but Collier says the island often sees impacts from storms far away.
Officials predicted Barry would make landfall as this year’s first hurricane Saturday morning near Morgan City, where a curfew has been set until 6 a.m. The edges of the storm were already lashing Louisiana and coastal Mississippi and Alabama with rain, leaving some roads underwater overnight. As dawn approached Saturday, more than 45,000 people in southern Louisiana had lost power.
Though expected to be a weak hurricane — just barely over the 74 mph (119 kph) wind speed threshold — it threatened disastrous flooding across a swath of the Gulf Coast. The storm was expected to inflict the most damage on Louisiana and parts of Mississippi, with wind and rain affecting more than 3 million people.
Late Friday night, residents received good news from forecasters: the Mississippi River is expected to crest in New Orleans at about 17.1 feet (5.2 meters) on Monday, not 19 feet (5.8 meters) as had been earlier predicted. The levees protecting the city range from about 20 to 25 feet (6 to 7.5 meters) in height.
Note: Live video player at top of page shows coverage from WVLA in Baton Rouge.
People from our region are also looking to do their part to help people affected. Click the link below to learn how you can get involved.