Barry churned into the Louisiana coastline as a Category 1 hurricane, with some areas of the state bracing for as much as two feet of rain from the slow-moving storm.
Oil and gas prices pushed higher as the slow-moving hurricane shut off a large chunk of the U.S. oil and gas supply. The gulf area represents roughly 20% of U.S. oil output. While few analysts predicted significant long-term disruptions, the possibility of softer supply and weaker refinery activity has helped push up U.S. crude futures nearly 5% for the week.
Port Fourchon, a seaport on the Gulf of Mexico serving more than 90% of the region's deepwater production, was under a mandatory evacuation order. In all, Gulf of Mexico operators shut-in 1.11 million barrels a day of oil production, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a notice. About 1.35 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas production is also halted.
Louisiana energy providers Entergy and Cleco Power reported that more than 77,000 customers were without power.
The storm also threatened crops from cotton to sugar and disrupted ship traffic on the Mississippi. Many of America's grain elevators, cotton fields, and cane crops sit in Barry's path and almost half of the U.S.'s exports of corn, soybeans and wheat get sent abroad from ports along the Mississippi River.
The National Hurricane Service predicted Barry would bring flood levels peaking at 17 feet, nearly three feet below prior forecasts but still the highest levels since 1995. Authorities have warned that Barry's heavy rains and potential storm surge are bigger threats than its winds, and that flooding is typically the major threat after such storms. Officials said the region could expect heavy rainfall and flooding through next week.