Torrential rains swamped New Orleans on Wednesday as residents fretted about the possibility of a hurricane. Forecasters said the storm could be on track to develop into a weekend hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. The hurricane could potentially bring water from the Mississippi River to the tip of the city’s protective levees. As much as seven inches of rain fell over a three-hour period on Wednesday, overturning garbage cans and turning streets into rivers. Kayakers had to paddle their way down some flooded streets. Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency and said there would be National Guard troops and high-water vehicles positioned around Louisiana. Ricky Boyett, spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans, said “We’re confident the levees themselves are in good shape. The big focus is height.” The storm may also affect Mississippi and Texas.
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