Millions in line of punishing rain from Tropical Storm Barry

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — People have boarded up buildings and braced for a strengthening Tropical Storm Barry that threatened millions as it churned a path ashore.

The storm is testing efforts to guard against flooding since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans 14 years ago.

Officials predicted Barry would make landfall Saturday morning near Morgan City as the first hurricane of the season.

The edges of the storm have already started lashing Louisiana with rain and left some coastal roads underwater.

But late Friday night, residents received good news from forecasters. Experts predict the Mississippi River will crest in New Orleans at about 17.1 feet (5.2 meters), not 19 feet (5.8 meters) as had been earlier predicted.

The levees protecting the city range from about 20 to 25 feet (6 to 7.5 meters) in height.

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