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US warnings of heavy rain, tornadoes from weakening storm Barry

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Tropical Storm Barry buffeted the US state of Louisiana on Sunday, bringing more heavy rain and possible tornadoes to the region even as it weakened.

After briefly becoming the first hurricane of the Atlantic season, Barry was downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall on Saturday. It nevertheless moved insland with a serious punch.

While there were few indications yet of widespread flooding, Louisianans kept a wary eye on several rivers and canals being pushed to their limits by the torrential rainfall and by flooding upstream.

Rain fell in New Orleans, the state’s biggest city, on Sunday but there was little wind. Flights in and out of the city’s airport resumed after all were canceled on Saturday.

Thousands of people had abandoned their homes and tens of thousands lost power.

Fears that the levee system protecting New Orleans could be compromised eased after the Army Corps of Engineers voiced confidence that it would hold, but Mayor LaToya Cantrell urged residents not to be complacent.

“We are not in any way out of the woods,” she said, adding that flash flooding remained a threat to the city of 400,000 known for its Mardi Gras and jazz.

President Donald Trump on Sunday warned of “major flooding in large parts of Louisiana and all across the Gulf Coast.

AFP

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