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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana

Sadie Roberts-Joseph, founder of African American history museum found dead in trunk, set for autopsy

Westlake Legal Group c3273f49-Sadie-Roberts-Joseph-Baton-Rouge-Police-Department Sadie Roberts-Joseph, founder of African American history museum found dead in trunk, set for autopsy Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc article 2c21648b-3540-5c8c-a10f-63ecf1c2e8a1

Louisiana cops hunting the killer of an African American history museum founder — who was discovered last week in a car trunk — planned an autopsy Monday in the “heinous” murder, as friends and lawmakers eulogized the civil rights activist as “a mother of the community.”

Sadie Roberts-Joseph was discovered in a vehicle parked just three miles from where she lived in Baton Rouge, where she founded and served as curator of the Baton Rouge African American Museum, which opened in 2001.

Investigators have been tight-lipped about potential suspects or a possible motive, but two city politicians close to Roberts-Joseph — Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Louisiana Rep. C. Denise Marcelle — confirmed her murder in separate social media posts.

FOUNDER OF LOUISIANA AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY MUSEUM FOUND DEAD IN CAR TRUNK: POLICE

Broome wrote on Instagram on Sunday she learned of the death “of a dear friend and a mother of the community” just as now-tropical depression Barry was bearing down on Louisiana.

Describing Roberts-Joseph’s death as “such shocking news,” Broome announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone connected to Roberts-Joseph’s death.

HUMAN REMAINS FOUND ON KENTUCKY PROPERTY IDENTIFIED AS MISSING MOM SAVANNAH SPURLOCK, POLICE ANNOUNCE

On Friday, Marcelle posted to Facebook that Roberts-Joseph “was found murdered.”

“This woman was amazing and loved her history. She never bothered anyone, just wanted to expand her African American Museum downtown, where she continually hosted the Juneteenth Celebration yearly,” she wrote.

The website of the city’s visitor bureau says the museum Roberts-Joseph founded features African art, exhibits on growing cotton and black inventors as well as a 1953 bus from the period of civil rights boycotts in Baton Rouge.

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The Baton Rouge Police Department called the 75-year-old “a tireless advocate of peace in the community” and a “treasure” who will be missed.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the department at 225-389-4869.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group c3273f49-Sadie-Roberts-Joseph-Baton-Rouge-Police-Department Sadie Roberts-Joseph, founder of African American history museum found dead in trunk, set for autopsy Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc article 2c21648b-3540-5c8c-a10f-63ecf1c2e8a1   Westlake Legal Group c3273f49-Sadie-Roberts-Joseph-Baton-Rouge-Police-Department Sadie Roberts-Joseph, founder of African American history museum found dead in trunk, set for autopsy Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox news fnc/us fnc article 2c21648b-3540-5c8c-a10f-63ecf1c2e8a1

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Barry threatens Louisiana, Arkansas, downgraded to tropical depression

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6059073294001_6059083488001-vs Barry threatens Louisiana, Arkansas, downgraded to tropical depression Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/disasters/warnings fox-news/us/disasters/hurricanes-typhoons fox news fnc/us fnc article ad026e33-02d2-5783-b956-dd0ffc3f833f

As fears of flooding, tornadoes, and prolonged power outages increased, Tropical Depression Barry dumped rain as it slowly swept inland through Gulf Coast states Sunday.

Though the system was downgraded to a tropical depression Sunday afternoon and its winds were steadily weakening since it made landfall Saturday in Louisiana, Barry’s rain bands created a flooding and tornado threat stretching from central Louisiana to eastern Mississippi and beyond. Several parishes or counties in both states were under flash flood warnings.

Far from the storm’s center, tornado warnings were issued Sunday morning in both states, though no serious damage or injuries were reported.

TROPICAL STORM BARRY: 3 HURRICANE MYTHS DEBUNKED

Forecasters warned of a continued threat of heavy rains into Monday as the center of the storm trudged inland. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Sunday parts of south-central Louisiana could still have rainfall totals of up to 12 inches, with isolated pockets of 15 inches.

In Mississippi, forecasters said 8 inches of rain had fallen in parts of Jasper and Jones counties, with several more inches possible. With torrential rain pounding the state’s Interstate 59 corridor, only the headlights of oncoming cars were visible on the highway, and water flowed like a creek in the median.

Barry’s center continued to move through northern Louisiana into Arkansas. The system, which had briefly become a Category 1 hurricane, had its maximum winds fall to 35 mph.

About 112,000 customers in Louisiana and another 5,000 customers in Mississippi were without power Sunday afternoon, according to poweroutage.us.

In Mandeville, north of New Orleans along Lake Pontchartrain, Michael Forbes was picking up limbs and other debris at his home as a drizzle fell. Water got under his house, which is on stilts, but there was no damage and the power never went off.

“I’ll take this any day over something like Katrina,” he said Sunday. “This will clear out, we’ll clean up and we’ll go on.”

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Sunday the city was “beyond lucky” that rainfall there fell well short of early predictions of a deluge that could overwhelm the city’s pumping systems.

“We were spared,” she said at a news conference, while noting the city was ready to help nearby parishes hit harder.

In a sign that the city was returning to normal, flights were resuming Sunday at its airport. Restaurants reopened, and people were retrieving their cars from medians and other high ground.

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President Trump took to Twitter to warn people across the region to be on guard as the day went on.

“A big risk of major flooding in large parts of Louisiana and all across the Gulf Coast,” the president tweeted. “Please be very careful!”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6059073294001_6059083488001-vs Barry threatens Louisiana, Arkansas, downgraded to tropical depression Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/disasters/warnings fox-news/us/disasters/hurricanes-typhoons fox news fnc/us fnc article ad026e33-02d2-5783-b956-dd0ffc3f833f   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6059073294001_6059083488001-vs Barry threatens Louisiana, Arkansas, downgraded to tropical depression Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/disasters/warnings fox-news/us/disasters/hurricanes-typhoons fox news fnc/us fnc article ad026e33-02d2-5783-b956-dd0ffc3f833f

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Tropical Storm Barry brings ‘significant flooding threat’ as officials warn of snakes, alligators in water

After making landfall in Louisiana, Tropical Storm Barry continued making its slow trek northward on Sunday across the region, bringing the threat of flash flooding for the lower Mississippi River valley and warnings by officials to stay out of the water due to what may lurk underneath.

The National Hurricane Center said as of 11 a.m. ET that Barry was located about 80 miles south-southeast of Shreveport, moving north at 6 mph with sustained winds of 45 mph. After briefly becoming a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday, the system weakened to a tropical storm, the NHC said.

“Across the remainder of the Lower Mississippi Valley, total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are expected, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches,” the NHC said. “This rainfall is expected to lead to dangerous, life-threatening flooding.”

In Mississippi, up to 3 inches of rain had already fallen in the Jackson area before dawn Sunday — and more was on the way. That prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood warning for the captial city of Jackson and some of its suburbs.

TROPICAL STORM BARRY: 3 HURRICANE MYTHS DEBUNKED

President Trump took to Twitter to warn people across the region to be on guard as the day went on.

“A big risk of major flooding in large parts of Louisiana and all across the Gulf Coast,” the president tweeted. “Please be very careful!”

First responders across the region echoed the president’s sentiments and urged people to stay out of floodwaters for a different reason: other creatures that may lurk below.

The St. Tammany Fire Prevention District #1 posted pictures to Facebook on Saturday of several snakes that fire crews have come across in Slidell, La.

Westlake Legal Group 66439302_2642052835817894_2812595153812848640_n Tropical Storm Barry brings 'significant flooding threat' as officials warn of snakes, alligators in water Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters/hurricanes-typhoons fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc c430ed9a-a2ba-503b-a63a-c27b0894051a article

Several snakes that fire crews have come across in floodwaters from Tropical Storm Barry. (St. Tammany Fire Prevention District #1)

“If the area you live in has high water, watch out for snakes and other critters who are trying to escape the floodwaters as well,” the agency said.

BARRY MAKES LANDFALL IN LOUISIANA AFTER WEAKENING BACK TO TROPICAL STORM

In Livingston Parish, a family and a dog had a very close encounter with an alligator. The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness posted a video to its Twitter account of the close encounter.

“No animals were harmed while this video was recorded,” the agency said.

Late Saturday night, authorities were trying to rescue a family of five who were trapped by high water in the south Louisiana town of Franklin, according to KTBS-TV. The National Guard had to halt its initial rescue mission because waters were too high to safely reach the family’s home. Franklin is about 40 miles southeast of Lafayette.

When officials eventually got to the home, the people living there said they didn’t need to be rescued, officials told the television station.

Westlake Legal Group barryflood1 Tropical Storm Barry brings 'significant flooding threat' as officials warn of snakes, alligators in water Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters/hurricanes-typhoons fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc c430ed9a-a2ba-503b-a63a-c27b0894051a article

As the Atchafalaya River continues to rise due to the rains of Tropical Storm Barry, it becomes harder to see the Morgan City name on the sea wall, Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Morgan City, La. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

“We got to a spot where we were starting to float a little bit and I wasn’t comfortable with that so we stopped a bit,” Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office Dep. Steve Dooley told KTBS. “We didn’t have very far to go so we decided to drive the rest of the way. We made it to the house, and they just didn’t want to come out.”

The deputies told KTBS that floodwaters in the area dropped significantly throughout the evening.

TROPICAL STORM BARRY: SAFETY TIPS FOR PETS

The storm’s first wave had not inundated New Orleans as feared, with the city experiencing moderate rain Saturday. Forecasters downgraded rainfall estimates for the city through Sunday to between 2 to 4 inches. Earlier forecasts of quadruple that amount had raised concerns that water pumps strengthened after Hurricane Katrina would be overwhelmed.

None of the main levees on the Mississippi River failed or were breached, and they were expected to hold up through the storm, Gov. John Bel Edwards said. But a levee in Terrebonne Parish was overtopped by water for part of the day, officials said. Video also showed water getting over a second levee in Plaquemines Parish, where fingers of land extend deep into the Gulf of Mexico.

“The levees did do really well along the Mississippi River but there’s all those others rivers, it’s a very wet area, there’s a lot of moisture there, a lot of rivers that are going to continue to rise. so we have a long ways to go with this,” Fox News Chief Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth said on “FOX & friends.”

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In other parts of Louisiana on Saturday, Barry flooded highways, forced people to scramble to rooftops and dumped heavy rain as it made landfall near Intracoastal City, about 160 miles west of New Orleans. Downpours also lashed coastal Alabama and Mississippi.

Westlake Legal Group barryflood2 Tropical Storm Barry brings 'significant flooding threat' as officials warn of snakes, alligators in water Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters/hurricanes-typhoons fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc c430ed9a-a2ba-503b-a63a-c27b0894051a article

This photo shows the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Closure Complex, Saturday, July 13, 2019 in Belle Chasse, La. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

In Mandeville, a city on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain across from New Orleans, storm surge and choppy waters sent waves pushing over the seawall and into nearby communities. Elsewhere, Coast Guard helicopters rescued a dozen people and two pets from flooded areas of Terrebonne Parish, south of New Orleans, some of them from rooftops, a spokeswoman said.

More than 140,000 customers in Louisiana and another more than 4,000 customers in Mississippi were without power early Sunday, according to poweroutage.us.

Westlake Legal Group barryflood4 Tropical Storm Barry brings 'significant flooding threat' as officials warn of snakes, alligators in water Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters/hurricanes-typhoons fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc c430ed9a-a2ba-503b-a63a-c27b0894051a article

Barry Williams talks to a friend on his smartphone as he wades through storm surge from Lake Pontchartrain on Lakeshore Drive in Mandeville, La. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Barry was expected to continue weakening and become a tropical depression Sunday, moving over Arkansas on Sunday night and Monday. But forecasts showed the storm on a path toward Chicago that would swell the Mississippi River basin.

Reichmuth said on “FOX & friends” that another thing to keep in mind is that the storm took place at earlier part of the hurricane season as the Mississippi River has been above flood stage for over 200 days due to all the moisture from the winter and spring still traveling downriver. The threat for flooding in the region could still persist when the season ramps up in August and September.

“If we have a storm again, a stronger storm into August or September, we could talk about this same situation,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group 66439302_2642052835817894_2812595153812848640_n Tropical Storm Barry brings 'significant flooding threat' as officials warn of snakes, alligators in water Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters/hurricanes-typhoons fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc c430ed9a-a2ba-503b-a63a-c27b0894051a article   Westlake Legal Group 66439302_2642052835817894_2812595153812848640_n Tropical Storm Barry brings 'significant flooding threat' as officials warn of snakes, alligators in water Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters/hurricanes-typhoons fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc c430ed9a-a2ba-503b-a63a-c27b0894051a article

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Volunteers rush to transport shelter animals threatened by Barry out of storm’s path

A multistate rescue effort helped secure and transport more than 120 cats and dogs to safety on Friday, removing them from shelters in Louisiana in anticipation of Tropical Storm Barry.

The D.C. based Humane Rescue Alliance teamed up with St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey to rescue the animals from two Louisiana shelters, St. Landry Animal Care and Control and St. Martin Animal Shelter, which are located in the path of the storm.

BARRY MAKES LANDFALL IN LOUISIANA AFTER WEAKENING BACK TO TROPICAL STORM

Both Lousiana shelters house their animals outdoors, creating an even greater potential for danger and the rescue efforts were intended to free up local shelters to deal with anticipated structural damage and an influx of displaced animals in the state as a result of the storm that is expected to bring 70 mph winds and dangerous storm surge throughout the weekend.

Westlake Legal Group 66711588_10157599206069916_8302360353707130880_o Volunteers rush to transport shelter animals threatened by Barry out of storm's path Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/us fnc ef84ff18-325d-5aa1-9661-225f6994e868 article

The animals were flown to Manassas Regional Airport in Virginia where they were then distributed to local animal shelters.

“We are proud to assist our fellow shelters in Louisiana and provide a safe haven for the animals as the region prepares for potentially devastating storms,” Lisa LaFontaine, president and CEO of HRA said in a statement. “As we head into hurricane season, the Humane Rescue Alliance and St. Hubert’s stand ready to take in homeless animals in the path of natural disasters with open arms and find loving homes for them in the region.”

The animals were flown to Manassas Regional Airport in Virginia where they were then distributed to local animal shelters including the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, Angels of Assisi, Humane Rescue Alliance, St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA and Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

Westlake Legal Group 67287100_10157599206299916_855933591354343424_o Volunteers rush to transport shelter animals threatened by Barry out of storm's path Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/us fnc ef84ff18-325d-5aa1-9661-225f6994e868 article

The D.C. based Humane Rescue Alliance teamed up with St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey to rescue the animals from two Louisiana shelters, St Landry Animal Care and Control and St. Martin Animal Shelter, which are located in the path of the storm.

Other animals were flown to shelters in New Jersey, Georgia and North Carolina as well to find adoptive homes.

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The rescue mission was the first since the D.C. rescue group and the New Jersey-based animal center merged on Tuesday with the specific mission of furthering the St. Hubert’s WayStation program, an animal transport program that cares for homeless or displaced animals, particularly during natural disasters, according to the Humane Society.

“By enriching the organizations on both ends of animal transports, we can weave a safety net for animals in every corner of the country,” LaFontaine said in a statement Tuesday.

Westlake Legal Group 66711588_10157599206069916_8302360353707130880_o Volunteers rush to transport shelter animals threatened by Barry out of storm's path Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/us fnc ef84ff18-325d-5aa1-9661-225f6994e868 article   Westlake Legal Group 66711588_10157599206069916_8302360353707130880_o Volunteers rush to transport shelter animals threatened by Barry out of storm's path Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/north-carolina fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-jersey fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox news fnc/us fnc ef84ff18-325d-5aa1-9661-225f6994e868 article

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Tropical Storm Barry: Coast Guard rescues 12 trapped on remote Louisiana island

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-6d93a81a711945e295c5e106ea340065 Tropical Storm Barry: Coast Guard rescues 12 trapped on remote Louisiana island Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox news fnc/us fnc article 3ad3def0-bdad-58d5-94b9-be24648e9054

A dozen people stranded on a remote Louisiana island by Tropical Storm Barry were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, according to a report Saturday.

The rescue was carried out on Isle de Jean Charles, a Terrebonne Parish community that was cut off by rising water from the storm. Isle de Jean Charles is about two hours south of New Orleans.

The Coast Guard reported that none of the rescued strandees, including four who were elderly, were injured, WWL-TV reported.

TROPICAL STORM BARRY: HURRICANE STRENGTH LIKELY WHEN STORM HITS LAND; 50,000 WITHOUT POWER – SO FAR

Isle de Jean Charles and other low-lying areas in Terrebonne Parish were under a voluntary evacuation order Friday, the station reported.

Isle de Jean Charles, home to fish camps on stilts, is a narrow stretch of land with only one road in and out, according to reports.

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Tropical Storm Barry is forecast to make landfall as 2019’s first hurricane near Morgan City, La. It is expected to dump up to 20 inches of rain in the region.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-6d93a81a711945e295c5e106ea340065 Tropical Storm Barry: Coast Guard rescues 12 trapped on remote Louisiana island Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox news fnc/us fnc article 3ad3def0-bdad-58d5-94b9-be24648e9054   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-6d93a81a711945e295c5e106ea340065 Tropical Storm Barry: Coast Guard rescues 12 trapped on remote Louisiana island Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox news fnc/us fnc article 3ad3def0-bdad-58d5-94b9-be24648e9054

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Tropical Storm Barry: Hurricane strength likely when storm hits land; Mississippi River surge downgraded

Westlake Legal Group NolaFlooding3 Tropical Storm Barry: Hurricane strength likely when storm hits land; Mississippi River surge downgraded fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-orleans fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 53b5ceb6-8b21-5c9e-92f3-63a2905cbf1f

Tropical Storm Barry is expected to reach hurricane strength before it makes landfall early Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

As of 2 a.m. ET Saturday, the storm was moving west-northwest at 3 miles per hour as it approached Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds at 65 mph, the weather service reported. The storm was about 70 miles south of Morgan City, La.

Meanwhile, forecasters were downgrading a predicted rise for the Mississippi River.  They said Friday night that the river would rise about 2 feet lower than originally expected and most likely will not break over its levees.

The NWS said the river will likely rise as high as 17.1 feet by Monday in New Orleans. The levees protecting the city range from about 20 to 25 feet high. Forecasters had earlier thought the river would crest Saturday at about 19 feet in New Orleans.

TROPICAL STORM BARRY PROMPTS STORM SURGE, FLOOD WARNINGS: WHY IS NEW ORLEANS AT AN INCREASED RISK?

Barry’s torrential rains are expected to test New Orleans’ post-Katrina flood defenses. The storm is forecast to dump 10 to 20 inches of rain on New Orleans through Sunday. Residents have not been advised to evacuate. Instead, officials said to stay indoors, have about three days’ worth of supply, and make sure neighborhood flood drains remain unblocked to allow water flow.

Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic flooding in New Orleans in 2005, and was blamed for more than 1,800 deaths in Louisiana and other states, by some estimates.

In Katrina’s aftermath, the Army Corps of Engineers began a multibillion-dollar hurricane-protection system that isn’t complete. The work included repairs and improvements to some 350 miles of levees and more than 70 pump stations that are used to remove floodwaters.

President Trump has already declared a state of emergency for Louisiana, authorizing federal disaster relief efforts. And about 10,000 people in Plaquemines Parish on Louisiana’s low-lying southeastern tip were ordered evacuated on Thursday.

New Orleans is particularly vulnerable to flooding because of its low elevation. Only about half the city is above sea level — a drop from what once was 100 percent, according to the Atlantic, which cited human activity as a primary reason for the drop.

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards warned that the storm’s impact, coupled with the already-high Mississippi River –which has been swelled by heavy rain and snowmelt upriver this spring — could be a dangerous combination.

“There are three ways that Louisiana can flood: storm surge, high rivers and rain,” Edwards said. “We’re going to have all three.”

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj, Madeline Farber and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group NolaFlooding3 Tropical Storm Barry: Hurricane strength likely when storm hits land; Mississippi River surge downgraded fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-orleans fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 53b5ceb6-8b21-5c9e-92f3-63a2905cbf1f   Westlake Legal Group NolaFlooding3 Tropical Storm Barry: Hurricane strength likely when storm hits land; Mississippi River surge downgraded fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/disasters fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-orleans fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 53b5ceb6-8b21-5c9e-92f3-63a2905cbf1f

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President Trump declares state of emergency in Louisiana, sends federal assistance ahead of Tropical Storm Barry

Westlake Legal Group louisian-sand-bags- President Trump declares state of emergency in Louisiana, sends federal assistance ahead of Tropical Storm Barry fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 82b1a3ea-613a-5b6f-af1a-7286b167c085

President Trump declared a federal emergency for Louisiana on Thursday night, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts ahead of the strengthening of Tropical Storm Barry.

Trump approved the federal assistance at the request of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who noted that within the past 24 hours, 28 parishes had issued emergency declarations and 14 were in the process of doing so. Residents have been stacking sandbags or fleeing to higher ground in preparation for torrential downpours, with heavy flooding expected once the storm makes landfall from the Gulf of Mexico either late Friday or early Saturday.

HURRICANE WATCH IN LOUISIANA, MANDATORY EVACUATIONS ISSUED AS BARRY EXPECTED TO DROP UP TO 20 INCHES OF RAIN

Trump tweeted Thursday evening: “To everyone on the Gulf Coast: As you make preparations to protect your homes & loved ones from flooding & the coming storm, it is imperative that you heed the directions of @FEMA, State & Local Officials. We are working closely w/ them. Please be prepared, be careful, & be SAFE!”

Edwards expressed appreciation for the president’s action in a Twitter message of his own.

“Thank you President Trump for quickly responding to my request for a federal disaster declaration,” the Democrat wrote. “We appreciate the support of the White House and our federal partners as we continue our unprecedented flood fight and respond to Tropical Storm.”

Edwards had declared a state of emergency Wednesday, authorizing activating up to 3,000 soldiers and airmen from the Louisiana National Guard ahead of the storm, Baton Rouge’s WBRZ-TV reported. National Guard troops and rescue crews in high-water vehicles took up positions around the state as Louisiana braced for the arrival of the storm.

Barry could pack winds of about 75 mph, just barely over the threshold for a hurricane, when it comes ashore, making it a Category 1 storm, forecasters said. It is expected to bring more than a foot and a half of rain in potentially ruinous downpours that could go on for hours as the storm passes through the metropolitan area of nearly 1.3 million people and pushes inland.

The National Weather Service said it expects the Mississippi River to rise to 19 feet by Saturday morning at a key gauge in the New Orleans area, which is protected by levees 20 to 25 feet high. Though it is not expected to grow into a major hurricane, the storm’s torrential rains are expected to test New Orleans’ improved post-Katrina flood defenses. 

Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic flooding in New Orleans in 2005 and was blamed for more than 1,800 deaths in Louisiana and other states, by some estimates. In its aftermath, the Army Corps of Engineers began a multibillion-dollar hurricane-protection system that isn’t complete. The work included repairs and improvements to some 350 miles of levees and more than 70 pump stations that are used to remove floodwaters.

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New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Barry’s heavy rains will put an extreme test to the pumping system that drains the city’s streets. The city does not plan to order evacuation because Barry is not expected to grow into a major hurricane. Officials instead advised people to keep at least three days of supplies on hand and to keep their neighborhood storm drains clear so water can move quickly.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group louisian-sand-bags- President Trump declares state of emergency in Louisiana, sends federal assistance ahead of Tropical Storm Barry fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 82b1a3ea-613a-5b6f-af1a-7286b167c085   Westlake Legal Group louisian-sand-bags- President Trump declares state of emergency in Louisiana, sends federal assistance ahead of Tropical Storm Barry fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox news fnc/us fnc Danielle Wallace article 82b1a3ea-613a-5b6f-af1a-7286b167c085

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New Orleans residents stunned by severe flooding as tropical system strengthens

NEW ORLEANS – The widespread flooding that inundated many parts of New Orleans on Wednesday astounded even longtime residents of a city that frequently withstands the brunt of hurricanes and tropical storms.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared a State of Emergency due to “intense thunderstorms, and the further potential for tropical or hurricane force winds and further thunderstorms”.

“New Orleans may experience more widespread localized severe flooding and gale force winds that could result in the endangerment and threat of life, injury and possible property damage,” Cantrell added.

By early morning, the city had called off work for non-essential employees as streets and sidewalks began to fill with water from the constant onslaught of rain. The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans said the city had received more than eight inches of rainfall within a three-hour period.

“This morning’s rain came down at an extraordinary rate,” the agency wrote on Twitter. “As an example on Mother’s Day, we received 4.5 inches in 3 hours, today was nearly double.”

NEW ORLEANS, GULF COAST FACE FLOODING THREAT FROM POSSIBLE TROPICAL STORM BARRY

Resident Jena Smith said she was lucky to not have been flooded, but it was a close call for her.

“I left my house early and made it to the office, otherwise my entire car would have been underwater,” she said. “Everybody else got stranded all over the city. It’s just crazy.”

The Mississippi River, which runs through the city, has been engorged for months as snowmelt and rainfall make their way down from the Midwest. Smith said she’s concerned about flooding due to the high water levels and a strengthening tropical system moving along the Gulf Coast that could develop into a Category 1 hurricane.

Westlake Legal Group Jena-Smith New Orleans residents stunned by severe flooding as tropical system strengthens fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-orleans fox news fnc/us fnc Charles Watson cdb5c125-1039-5412-8fa7-46a0052bf7dd article

New Orleans resident Jena Smith looks out at the Mississippi River Wednesday. (Fox News/ Charles Watson)

“It’s a little disconcerting, knowing how high the river is,” Smith said as she looked out onto the Mississippi River. “With the river being so high and pumping stations having issues, areas of the cities that never flooded are flooding now.”

TOXIC ALGAE BLOOM FORCES GULF COAST BEACH CLOSURES

Wayne Harris, visiting from Toronto, said he was a fan of rainfall. However, he really wanted to enjoy his week-long New Orleans vacation in the sun. So, he was hoping the weather system possibly headed in the city’s direction doesn’t stick around for long.

“A couple of days wouldn’t bother me, but it’d be nice if it cleared out of here in a couple of days so we could do a lot more sightseeing and stuff,” he said.

His friend Cathy Ross said she was far less enthused by the impending storm.

“[We have] lots of sightseeing and things planned and I want to be able to get out and do what we’ve planned and what we paid for,” she said.

In the Gert Town section of the city, residents swept up the debris that heavy rain had carried over to their homes. Streets were flooded with water that had slowly begun trickling down sewer drains.

“This is nothing compared to how high the water was,” said a resident who identified herself as just Nancy, as she pointed to a water line that was about a foot high.

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Smith said the idea of another Hurricane Katrina-like disaster has crossed her mind, but she’s staying optimistic. Otherwise, she said, you have to let the tropical system run its course.

“I think people in New Orleans have figured out, you just ride with it,” she said. “Take precautions and that’s about all you can do.”

Westlake Legal Group IMG_1120 New Orleans residents stunned by severe flooding as tropical system strengthens fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-orleans fox news fnc/us fnc Charles Watson cdb5c125-1039-5412-8fa7-46a0052bf7dd article   Westlake Legal Group IMG_1120 New Orleans residents stunned by severe flooding as tropical system strengthens fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/mississippi fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-orleans fox news fnc/us fnc Charles Watson cdb5c125-1039-5412-8fa7-46a0052bf7dd article

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Louisiana man arrested after allegedly licking ice cream, placing it back on shelf in ‘copycat’ video

A “copycat” ice cream licker was arrested in Louisiana on Saturday in the weeks after he was caught on video allegedly licking ice cream in a grocery store and putting it back in the fridge.

Lenise Martin III, 36, was taken into custody after video of him circulating online apparently showed him doing the deed. Martin appears to open a tub of ice cream, lick it, touch it with his finger, and then place it back on the freezer shelf.

TEXAS WALMART’S ‘ARMED’ EMPLOYEE GUARDS BLUE BELL ICE CREAM FOLLOWING VIRAL LICKING VIDEO

Westlake Legal Group 11cf57f2-download Louisiana man arrested after allegedly licking ice cream, placing it back on shelf in 'copycat' video Nicole Darrah fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/crime fox-news/odd-news fox-news/food-drink/recipes/meals/dessert fox-news/food-drink/food/snack-foods fox-news/food-drink/food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 42c27f2e-08e1-5761-9b88-b6e502e2cedb

Lenise Martin III, 36, was arrested after allegedly licking a tub of ice cream and placing is back on the shelf at a store in Louisiana. (Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office)

When management became aware of the video, Martin returned to the store to prove he purchased the ice cream, WAFB reported.

Martin was charged with criminal mischief and unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity, and remained jailed as of Monday morning, according to online records from the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office.

ICE CREAM TRUCK OWNER TO CHARGE SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS DOUBLE: ‘WE TRULY DON’T CARE’

His alleged criminal act was seemingly inspired by that of a girl who was caught on camera doing the same thing — licking a tub of ice cream, specifically Blue Bell brand, and placing it back on the shelf — at a Walmart in Lufkin, Texas.

Reports indicate that Martin licked a tub of Blue Bell ice cream, but that information was not immediately clear. Blue Bell worked to help track down the store in Texas where the ice cream-licking took place.

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The sheriff’s office in Louisiana, meanwhile, is discouraging such copycat acts.

“It is illegal. It’s a health risk to others. We will pursue anyone we see do this. You will be charged,” officials said.

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Night before Trump’s inauguration was ‘very emotional’: Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama in an interview Saturday evening said the night before President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 was “very emotional.”

“The truth is, on that day I was moving my children out of the only house they had really grown up in,” the former first lady told Gayle King of CBS News at the Essence Festival in New Orleans. “I think that gets lost on people.”

She said she was rushing to get her daughters and their friends out of the White House after they’d had a sleepover the night before the inauguration.

“The girls didn’t get up,” she explained. “They’re all crying and they have their teddy bears and they’re moving slow and I’m like, ‘You’ve got to get up and get out of this house.’ And I don’t know where these kids are going, but they had to get up and out of that house. So you’ve got tears and I’m pushing people out a freight elevator and my kids are crying.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19188128946576 Night before Trump’s inauguration was ‘very emotional’: Michelle Obama fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/person/michelle-obama fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article abfa9ab4-74fe-5a6c-acaf-b7537123c889

Michelle Obama speaks to Gayle King during the 2019 Essence Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Saturday, July 6, 2019, in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

BEYONCÉ PENS TRIBUTE TO MICHELLE OBAMA FOR TIME’S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE

She said she and former President Barack Obama then had to meet with the Trumps.

“I didn’t want to go out and greet them with tears in my eyes because people would think I was crying for other reasons,” Mrs. Obama said, according to CBS News.

The former first lady said after eight years of watching her husband “get raked over the coals” and feeling like they had to be perfect, “It was a lot emotionally that when I got on that plane, it was a release.”

She also spoke personally about marriage and motherhood, saying kids can “take up all the oxygen in the land.”

FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S YOUNGEST DAUGHTER, SASHA, ATTENDS PROM

“That’s why they make the babies cute because you would leave them at the post office,” she joked.

She told King the most important thing in a marriage is for spouses to be equals.

“My husband is my teammate and if we are going to win this game together, he has to be strong and he has to be OK with me being strong,” she said.

Mrs. Obama also waded into the 2020 election, telling King she and her husband are supportive of all the Democratic candidates and plan to support whoever wins the primary because the general election is “so important.”

She appeared to criticize Trump without using his name.

“The leader of the free world with a tweet can start a war, can crush an economy, can change the future of our children,” she said, adding the next president needs to have “deep seriousness and focus” and operate “with a clear base of facts and ideas.”

“The leader of the free world with a tweet can start a war, can crush an economy, can change the future of our children.”

— Michelle Obama

She said she thinks her husband sometimes made the presidency look easy.

“I guess it’s kind of like if the black guy can do it, anybody can do it — and that’s not true. It’s a hard job.”

Obama said people forget how many punches they took to win the White House and that for a bit she was portrayed as “an angry black woman who was emasculating her husband.” Both Democrats and Republicans were afraid of “the strength of a black woman,” she said.

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She added that she knew when she became the first lady she would have to “earn [her] grace.”

“I want all young girls out there to know – we all struggle with that, people of color, working-class folks, women of color – people try to define us in a negative way before we get a chance to get out there and tell our own stories,” she said.

Five of the presidential candidates – Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren – also spoke at the festival earlier in the day.

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