Tropical Storm Cristobal makes landfall along southeast Louisiana coast

NEW ORLEANS — Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall in southeast Louisiana on Sunday evening, bringing hazardous conditions that will continue to spread inland across portions of the northern Gulf Coast.

As of 7 p.m., a storm surge warning from the National Hurricane Center was in effect for parts of Mississippi and Louisiana. Photos and videos on Twitter showed some highways in Louisiana were already impassable due to flooding.

The center of Cristobal was forecast to move inland across southeastern Louisiana through Monday morning, then northward into Arkansas and Missouri on Monday afternoon into Tuesday. It is projected to weaken to a tropical depression Monday, according to the NHC.

Coronavirus testing events that had been scheduled for Monday in Jackson have been canceled, the University of Mississippi Medical Center said in an email.

The third named storm of a busy Atlantic hurricane season made landfall around 5 p.m. Sunday and will leave its mark as it moves inland along the southeast coast of Louisiana, forecasters said. 

“Conditions are expected to continue to deteriorate today,” the National Hurricane Center in Miami warned. “The center of Cristobal will approach the northern Gulf of Mexico coast this afternoon, then move inland across Louisiana late today through Monday morning, and northward across Arkansas and Missouri Monday afternoon into Tuesday.”

In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency. “Continue to stay weather aware this weekend as Tropical Storm Cristobal makes its way to Louisiana,” Edwards warned residents in a tweet.

Windows were boarded up in New Orleans hours before Cristobal’s expected landfall.

Though the streets were mostly empty, those still running errands were not too concerned with the impending storm.

CR Holloway, 83, a French Quarter resident, wore a face mask as he shopped for sesame seeds for a dinner party he plans to host Monday evening. When asked about the potential for flooding in the city, he said his thoughts are more occupied with the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for police changes than they are with Cristobal.

“The storm seems like the lesser of all evils, very insignificant compared to what’s going on in our culture,” Holloway said.

Similarly, art gallery owner Vina Nguyen framed the storm in the larger context of events that have rocked her city.

Like many shop owners in downtown New Orleans, Nguyen boarded up her art gallery last week to protect from the protests against police brutality as much as the storm. Before last week’s rallies, the gallery was closed because of the pandemic.

“It’s crazy what we’re going through with the pandemic, the protests and now a tropical storm. It’s an eerie time,” Nguyen said. “I’m kind of in disbelief.”

Brandon Smith of Biloxi, Mississippi, said he always boards up before a storm.

“We learned a powerful and expensive lesson with (Hurricane) Katrina, and I suppose I’m a little paranoid about the storms these days,” he said. “It’s always inconvenient to drag the boards out of the shed, but a few hours of preparation goes a long way.”

Source: USA TODAY



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