A dangerous cyclone spinning toward the Gulf Coast intensified Thursday to become Tropical Storm Barry.
It’s the first tropical storm to threaten the US this year. But before Barry makes landfall — possibly Saturday in Louisiana — it’ll likely be a full-blown hurricane, meaning winds will top 74 mph.
But it’s not the wind that makes this storm so treacherous. It’s the colossal rainfall and massive storm surges.
Streets in New Orleans have already turned into lakes after the storm’s outer bands pummeled the city with up to 9 inches of rain.
And it’ll only get worse.
As of 11 a.m. ET, Barry was hurling sustained winds of 40 mph in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center said.
But because Barry is a slow-moving storm — crawling across the Gulf at just 5 mph — the system will hover over the same places for a long time, dropping relentless rain and adding to the widespread flooding.
In Grand Isle, Louisiana, the mayor and town council ordered everyone to evacuate Thursday.
“We are expecting a rainfall total that can range from 6″ to 10″,” they said in a statement. “We will be experiencing unusual high tides that will range more than 3 feet above ground.”