The sky is cloudy as over Lake Pontchartrain on Lakeshore Drive as little flooding is reported in New Orleans, ahead of Tropical Storm Barry making landfall on Saturday, July 13, 2019.  (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
The sky is cloudy as over Lake Pontchartrain on Lakeshore Drive as little flooding is reported in New Orleans, ahead of hurricane Barry making landfall on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

Updated July 13, 2019, 3:44 p.m.

Barry, weakening to a tropical storm, made landfall Saturday in Louisiana near Intercoastal City, the National Hurricane Center said. 

The Miami center warned that Barry was nonetheless likely to bring dangerous storm surges, plus strong wind and heavy rain that could cause "life-threatening flooding" in parts of the Gulf Coast and the Lower Mississippi Valley. 
 
The storm, which was the first Atlantic hurricane of the season, packed maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) and was moving at 5.6 mph (9 kph). National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said Barry had collected "a big slug of moisture" and was expected to rain on the region throughout the weekend. 
 
New Orleans residents fortified their homes and stocked up on supplies as Barry began to roll in from the Gulf of Mexico.  
  
City officials advised residents to shelter in their homes, with the exception of two coastal parishes south of the city, where mandatory evacuations were ordered.  
  
Tourists had largely left the city Friday. Some airlines canceled outbound flights on Saturday. 

The main threat from the storm was expected to be its flood potential, rather than its winds. The storm was widely seen as a test of the city's weather defenses put in place following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which left about 1,800 people dead. 
 
U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in Louisiana on Thursday night, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate federal funds and resources to help the state cope with the storm and its aftermath.  
 

Barry Williams talks to a friend on his smartphone as he wades through storm surge from Lake Pontchartrain on Lakeshore Drive in Mandeville, La., as Hurricane Barry approached, July 13, 2019.

New Orleans, which was already dealing with floods from Wednesday's fierce rainstorms, was likely to see more flash flooding. Forecasters predicted the city could expect as much as 20 inches (51 centimeters) of rain from Barry, pushing the Mississippi River's crest close to the top of the nearly 20-foot-high (6-meter high) levees protecting New Orleans.  

Baton Rouge also faced threats of flash flooding.  

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards had already declared a state of emergency and had deployed the National Guard.  
 
Mandatory evacuations were ordered for about 10,000 people living near the stretch of the Mississippi closest to the Gulf. A storm surge warning was in effect for southern and southeastern Louisiana. 
 
Along with its rain and wind, Barry could bring tornadoes before it moves farther inland and weakens.