Barry gains hurricane strength ahead of Louisiana landfall

Barry gains hurricane strength ahead of Louisiana landfall 

Shane Matter walks through a flooded area in Mandeville, Louisiana, ahead of the arrival of Barry, which strengthened on July 13, 2019, to the first hurricane of this year’s Atlantic season. EPA-EFE/DAN ANDERSON

Miami, Jul 13 (efe-epa).- Barry became the first hurricane of this year’s Atlantic season shortly before it is projected to make landfall on Saturday along Louisiana’s central coast, the United States’ National Hurricane Center said.

Although it is projected to be downgraded back to a tropical storm after it starts moving over land in the coming hours, Barry is expected to trigger dangerous storm surge in coastal areas of Louisiana and parts of Mississippi.

In its bulletin at 11 am Miami time (1500 GMT), the National Hurricane Center said Barry was packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour.

The NHC said the center of the hurricane was located 65 km south of Lafayette, Louisiana, and 80 km west of Morgan City, Louisiana.

The center of Barry is projected to move through southern Louisiana on Saturday, into the central part of that southeastern US state on Saturday night and into northern Louisiana on Sunday. EFE-EPA