Tropical Storm Barry formed off the coast of Louisiana on Thursday and threatened to blow ashore as a hurricane with relatively weak winds but torrential rains that could test the flood-control improvements made in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina 14 years ago.
Forecasters said the first hurricane of the Atlantic season could hit the state's swampy southern tip Friday night or early Saturday, with potentially ruinous downpours that could go on for hours as the storm passes through the metropolitan area of nearly 1.3 million people and pushes inland.
For 65 years, Clarence Brocks has lived in Plaquemines Parish. And for nearly the same amount of time, he has memories of loading up the car to evacuate.
Brocks' family was one of the few left, Thursday afternoon, as evacuation orders pushed residents to higher ground.
He serves as the Volunteer Fire Chief in town and insists on being one of the last people out.
"We in between two major bodies of water and the only thing protecting us is two 18 foot levees and one of them failed already for Katrina," Brocks said.
While Brocks can't count how many times he's evacuated, he can recall the most memorable; Hurricane Katrina. His home sits in the same place as the one he lost during that storm. He spent years rebuilding himself.
"We lost everything. We started from scratch. But we didn't lose everything because we still had our lives and our health," he said.
Brocks, an Air Force veteran, knows the risk he lives with when Hurricane season rolls around. But it's one he's willing to take year after year.
"I was born and raised here. This is all I know. I've been all over the world and guess where I want to be at? Right here," he said.
While they didn't have flood insurance for Katrina, they do now. And if he returns to nothing after the storm passes, Brocks plans to rebuild yet again.
Barry could have winds of about 75 mph (120 kph), just over the 74 mph threshold for a hurricane, when it comes ashore, making it a Category 1 storm, forecasters said.