Storms swamp New Orleans
Jalana Furlough (left) carries her son Drew while Terrian Jones carries Chance Furlough through a flooded street Wednesday in New Orleans after sudden rainfall swamped the city. Lines of thunderstorms ahead of a disturbance in the Gulf that forecasters said was on track to become a hurricane by the weekend battered the city with as much as 8 inches of rain.
NEW ORLEANS — A storm swamped New Orleans streets and paralyzed traffic Wednesday as concerns grew that a possible hurricane would strike the Gulf Coast and raise the Mississippi River to the brim of the city’s protective levees.
The storm was associated with an atmospheric disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that forecasters said was on track to strengthen into a hurricane by the weekend. The National Hurricane Center expected the system to become a tropical storm today and a hurricane on Friday.
Lines of thunderstorms ranged far out into the Gulf and battered New Orleans, where as much as 8 inches of rain fell over a three-hour period Wednesday morning, officials said.
Mississippi and Texas were also at risk of torrential rains.
In New Orleans, streets turned into small, swift rivers that overturned garbage cans and picked up pieces of floating wood. Water was up to the doors of many cars. Other vehicles were abandoned. Kayakers paddled down some streets.