Hurricane Barry -- Flooding in lower Mississippi Valley

Hurricane Barry -- Flooding in lower Mississippi Valley

On Saturday morning 13 July Barry made landfall on western coastal Louisiana, bringing with it hurricane-force winds and heavy rains.  Reported local rainfall amounts were as high as 8 to 10 inches, with sustained winds of 60 to 65 mph.  Numerous hurricane-force wind gusts near 75 mph were also observed in eastern coastal Louisiana and Alabama.  The slow-moving storm affected the region for nearly four days, as shown in the GOES-16 composite loop below.

Barry left many communities with flooded homes and submerged roads, but fortunately the worst-case forecasts of 10-20 inches of extensive heavy rains did not materialize.  Nonetheless localized flooding was evident along low lying areas along the Mississippi, as shown here in AER's FloodScan analysis.  The image below shows FloodScan’s maximum flood extent maps from satellite observations taken during Barry's landfall and subsequent northward progression.

The map shows the entire affected area, which is crisscrossed by woody wetlands that under normal conditions are capable of absorbing and carrying away excess rainfall but were overwhelmed by the volume of water from Barry in addition to flooding in the central Midwest that took place earlier this spring.