Harvey threatens to pound Louisiana with heavy rain, triggering flash flood warning

Louisiana residents braced for the worst of Tropical Storm Harvey on Tuesday as heavy rainfall threatened to bring disastrous flooding, prompting flashbacks to Hurricane Katrina that made landfall in the state 12 years ago. 

Rain from Harvey, which caused "catastrophic" flooding in Houston after making landfall in Texas last Friday, moved toward New Orleans Tuesday morning. Three inches of rain fell in the city by the morning, with flooding reported in some spots, NOLA.com reported. 

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for all of southeast Louisiana, southwest Mississippi and Mississippi Gulf Coast through Thursday. 

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"I just felt like I needed to take all precautions this time," resident Rhonda Wylie told the Associated Press in preparation for Harvey. 

The region could see eight inches of rain or more by Thursday, forecasters warned. Although Louisiana is not expected to see as much flooding as Texas, the images of the aftermath revived painful memories for survivors of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2005.

New Orleans has already been plagued with flooding from storms earlier this month. The city scrambled to repair its malfunctioning pump system before Tuesday. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said most pumps were working, and the city is continuing with efforts to improve the pumping system.

Landrieu urged residents to stay home on Tuesday, and many residents appeared to be heeding the mayor's warning. Schools and City Hall were closed in anticipation of the flooding. More than 35,800 sandbags were distributed. 

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Landrieu also released a statement on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which claimed 1,200 lives. 

"But in the wake of that tragedy, we witnessed unbelievable acts of heroism and compassion from across this great country and the world. No city welcomed more New Orleanians following Katrina than Houston, and our hearts break for them as Hurricane Harvey displaces so many of their citizens," Landrieu said. 

"As they and others around the world were our refuge in a time of trouble, we will observe this somber anniversary by praying for our fellow Americans who are in need, and we will do all we can to help them stand back up," he continued. 

Harvey generated an amount of rain that would normally be seen only once in more than 1,000 years, Edmond Russo, a deputy district engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers, said. The storm has claimed at least 14 people, including a family of six.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.