Tropical Storm Barry

Updated at 8:26 p.m. ET

Though life-threatening flooding still poses a threat to Louisiana, weakening winds on Sunday marked Barry's downgrade from a tropical storm to a tropical depression.

The National Weather Service forecasts that the center of the storm will continue to move through northwest Louisiana toward Arkansas through Monday.

People across southern Louisiana are spending the weekend worried about flooding. The water is coming from every direction: the Mississippi River is swollen with rain that fell weeks ago farther north, and a storm called Barry is pushing ocean water onshore while it drops more rain from above.

It's a situation driven by climate change, and one that Louisiana has never dealt with, at least in recorded history. And it's raising questions about whether New Orleans and other communities are prepared for such an onslaught.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Tropical Storm Barry is beginning to take a toll on the central Gulf Coast, bringing high winds and heavy rains to parts of southeastern Louisiana, where residents have been preparing to cope with flooding and power outages.

As Barry slowly approached land, an oil rig southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River reported "sustained winds of 76 mph and a wind gust of 87 mph," the National Hurricane Center said Friday.

In New Orleans, officials told residents to get off the streets and shelter in place.

Updated at 11:07 p.m. ET

Tropical Storm Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, and it could become a hurricane by late Friday, the National Hurricane Center says. Forecasters say the storm could bring a storm surge and heavy rains to Louisiana.

Barry is now predicted to become a Category 1 hurricane shortly before making landfall Saturday morning. Its maximum winds are expected to reach only around 75 mph — but officials are warning of perilous flash floods and other hazards.