NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Tropical Storm Barry has now weakened to a tropical depression, but forecasters warn flooding rains and tornadoes are still possible as the storm winds down.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami downgraded the storm in a Sunday afternoon advisory and removed all tropical storm warnings.
Forecasters say Barry’s maximum winds are down to 35 mph (55 kph). Its center was about 20 miles (35 kilometers) north-northeast of Shreveport in northwest Louisiana.
The National Weather Service says flooding rains and tornadoes are happening well east and south of the storm’s center and should continue into Monday as what remains of Barry moves north into western Arkansas.
As Tropical Storm Barry slowly winds down and moves away, storms well away from the center have prompted a rash of tornado warnings.
The warnings have been in the outer bands of the storms just east of Baton Rouge and in Mississippi.
Some trees have been knocked down and minor damage reported to buildings in East Baton Rouge and Denham Springs, but no serious damage or injuries have been reported.
Forecasters say the chance for tornadoes In Mississippi and east of the Mississippi River in Louisiana will continue throughout Sunday.
Louisiana authorities say that a family they tried to rescue from high water was doing OK and preferred to stay in their home.
KTBS-TV reported that rescuers tried Saturday night to reach the family near Franklin, which is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Lafayette.
The Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office was eventually able to reach the family, but they preferred to stay in their home.
Deputy Steve Dooley said that authorities drove through water that was almost impassible but made it eventually to the house where the family was.
He said: “We made it to the house, and they just didn’t want to come out.”
Deputies told the station that they weren’t aware of any injuries from the storm in the parish.
Tropical Storm Barry’s winds weakened slightly to 40 mph (65 kph), but the risks associated with the storm – including flooding and tornadoes – are sparking new concerns.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its 11 a.m. Sunday advisory that the storm’s center was located about 50 miles (85 kilometers) south-southeast of Shreveport, Louisiana, and was moving north at 9 mph (15 kph).
The center discontinued a storm surge warning it had issued from Intracoastal City to the mouth of the Atchafalaya River.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of Louisiana including East Baton Rouge until 10:30 a.m. CDT. A flash flood warning was in effect for Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, and Vermilion parishes until 1:15 p.m. CDT.
Flights are arriving and departing again from the New Orleans airport as Tropical Storm Barry heads north.
The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport said in a statement Sunday morning that most airlines are returning to normal operations. The airport is advising passengers to arrive at least two hours early as they could encounter long lines.
Delta Air Lines spokesman Drake Castañeda said Sunday that the Atlanta-based company resumed normal operations in New Orleans Saturday night. Castañeda said Delta flights from Atlanta and New York landed in New Orleans shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday.
President Donald Trump is urging Gulf Coast residents to be careful as Barry continues dropping rain across the region.
In a Sunday morning tweet, Trump said: “A big risk of major flooding in large parts of Louisiana and all across the Gulf Coast. Please be very careful!”
The storm’s center is moving over Louisiana on Sunday morning and is expected to move over Arkansas overnight and into Monday.
In its latest update, the National Hurricane Center said the storm is expected to become a tropical depression as it loses energy while moving over land Sunday. Barry’s maximum sustained winds were at 45 mph (72 kph) as of 7 a.m. CDT Sunday. But forecasters say the flood threat will continue, partly because of the slow movement of the storm.