Weakened but still potent, Barry inundated the Gulf Coast but appeared unlikely to deluge New Orleans as it continued its slow advance, though it brought fresh fears of flash flooding to Mississippi's capital city of Jackson Sunday morning.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Saturday night urged residents across south Louisiana to stay "vigilant," warning that Barry could still cause disastrous flooding across a wide stretch of the Gulf Coast overnight.
"This storm still has a long way to go before it leaves this state," Edwards said. "Don't let your guard down."
New Orleans had been braced for heavy rains Saturday, but instead had intermittent bands of moderate showers and occasional sunshine. Though Barry will continue to dump rain throughout the weekend, forecasters downgraded rainfall estimates for the city through Sunday to between 2 to 4 inches from up to 20 inches, which had raised concerns that water pumps strengthened after Hurricane Katrina would be overwhelmed.
National Weather Service forecaster Robert Ricks cautioned, however, that it was too early to say for certain that New Orleans was in the clear. "We're about at the (halfway) mark of the marathon right now," he said Saturday evening.
In other parts of Louisiana on Saturday, Barry flooded highways, forced people to scramble to rooftops and dumped heavy rain, as it made landfall near Intracoastal City, about 160 miles west of New Orleans. Downpours also lashed coastal Alabama and Mississippi.
None of the main levees on the Mississippi River failed or were breached, and they were expected to hold up through the storm, but a levee in Terrebonne Parish was overtopped by water for part of the day, and video also showed water getting over a second levee in Plaquemines Parish, where fingers of land extend deep into the Gulf of Mexico.
Barry was expected to continue weakening and become a tropical depression Sunday, moving over Arkansas on Sunday night and Monday. But forecasts showed the storm on a path toward Chicago that would swell the Mississippi River basin with water that must eventually flow south again.