Kentucky native rides out Tropical Storm Barry in Louisiana

Published: Jul. 13, 2019 at 10:43 PM EDT
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Jennifer Collins is originally from the Pikeville area, and for the last two decades has called the suburbs of New Orleans home.

She's seen a fair amount of wind and rain but tells WKYT that so far, Barry hasn't been that bad.

"Oh, I've dealt with worse before. I went through Katrina," she said. "I think everybody was kind of worried about it blowing up right before it hit land just like Katrina did because the water is so warm. It's been very hot down here."

Her home is right on the Mississippi River and right now she's worried about flooding.

"The Mississippi River is up very high already. The ground has been saturated for days now," Collins said.

For the past two nights, Collins has taken refuge on higher ground in a hotel. She said her son Nicholas, 9, who has autism, has been handling it all "like a champ."

"When the power went out last night, I thought 'Oh my God, he's not going to have Elmo,' but he was good," she said.

While Barry continues to bring heavy rainfall and flooding to other parts of the Gulf Coast, Collins said where she is, things are starting to get back to normal.

"Today, a lot of the places that were closed yesterday are opening back up, like the restaurants and things like that, they're not really as concerned about it, so you can actually go out, find food, find water," she said.

In a news conference on Saturday, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell urged people to remain vigilant as Barry made landfall. "We're not out of the woods yet," Cantrell said.

Collins said the storm is serious, but nothing locals haven't dealt with before.

"I mean it's just another day," Collins said. "It's just a rainy day in New Orleans and they're still out on Bourbon Street. They're still having a party because the party never stops down here, and they're just wanting to get back home and get back to normal. They're pretty resilient down here."