Andres Fuentes

A wall of sandbags lines La. 45 in Jean Lafitte on July 14, 2019. The wall protected homes from flooding as Tropical Storm Barry swept through the area.

What did Tropical Storm Barry look like outside New Orleans? Sandbags and swimming snakes

July 14, 2019

After days of warnings about the dangers of Tropical Storm Barry and millions of dollars of potential property damage, most New Orleanians woke up July 14 to calm cloudy skies and hurricane party hangovers.

This left many residents to question why news stations aired storm coverage over their regularly scheduled soap operas.

The answer is simple: Louisiana is much more than The Big Easy.

The first major storm of the 2019 hurricane season took its time to parade down the center of Louisiana. The storm came to shore as a Category 1 hurricane on July 13, downgraded to a tropical storm once it hit Vermillion Parish and by Sunday, was a tropical depression headed straight toward Shreveport.

Tropical Storm Barry impacted more parishes, communities, towns and people than the average New Orleanian might think.

Just 22 miles from New Orleans, residents of the town of Jean Lafitte were preparing for flood waters as early as Tuesday. Barry had not even formed into an organized storm before the town and other low-lying areas across the state were preparing for the rains.

Grand Isle kicked off the evacuation calls on July 10, and as Barry formed into a tropical storm aimed straight for Morgan City, other regions and parishes in southern Louisiana followed suit.

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni called for mandatory evacuation for Lafitte, Crown Point, Barataria and Jean Lafitte on July 13, deploying 38,000 sandbags.

Through the weekend, 90,000 people lost power, many roadways were impassible due to high tides and heavy rains and multiple neighborhoods were cut off from emergency response teams.

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