Man Seen Swimming on Canal Street as Severe Storms Rage in New Orleans

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Severe storms pounded New Orleans streets with more than 7 inches of rain, knocked out power to more than 10,500 residents and flooded streets so badly it stranded some Wednesday.

The storm could push enough of a storm surge to raise the Mississippi River to 20 feet in some parts of New Orleans’ metro area, which is higher than the lowest levees that keep it within its banks, the Times-Picayune reported.

Storm forecasters predict they’ll officially be able to call the weather system moving through New Orleans Hurricane Barry by the end of the week.

Jeff Graschel, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, said although peak storm conditions aren’t expected until Saturday, the hurricane projection is only at a category No. 1.

Hurricane Katrina was a category No. 5.

“Certainly the projections are not showing a Katrina type storm,” he said.

Still, flooding has forced some residents to rely on boats, according to the Times-Picayune.

One man was even forced to swim down the city’s famous Canal Street.

“Dude Literally on Canal Street Swimming,” Twitter user @HollygroveShawn said in a caption for video of the flooding.

Other residents shared Twitter video of what the Times-Picayune called a water spout over Lake Pontchartrain.

The National Weather Service says that rainfall amounts could reach more than 12 inches in some areas between Thursday and Tuesday.

“The highest of these amounts are expected along and west of I-55 and the bulk of this rain is expected from late Thursday through Sunday,” the weather service says in a hazardous weather outlook released just before noon Wednesday.

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