Tropical Storm Barry soaked the Gulf Coast and slowly inched northward Sunday, sparing New Orleans but still packing enough force to swamp the region with potentially life-threatening flash floods.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, was trudging northward over northwestern Louisiana as of 11 a.m. ET and expected to weaken to a tropical depression later Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

People walk through floodwaters along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain in Mandeville, Louisiana, on July 13, 2019. Scott Olson / Getty Images

The National Weather Service also warned that tornadoes could potentially sweep across a wide swath of the South on Sunday afternoon. The service said twisters were possible in southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, western Alabama, eastern Arkansas and western Tennessee.

Barry had strengthened briefly Saturday from a tropical storm to a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph before weakening again slightly.

It made landfall near Intracoastal City, an unincorporated community in Vermilion Parish roughly 170 miles west of New Orleans, around 1:00 p.m.

The storm triggered power outages to at least 75,000 households and businesses in Louisiana, Alabama, Texas and Mississippi, most of them in Louisiana, the U.S. Department of Energy said.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Saturday that Barry's slow speed makes it potentially more damaging.

“We would like it to pick up pace a little bit so it would move through the area a little quicker,” the governor said at a news conference.

A man stands in floodwaters at Don'z On The Lake restaurant as winds from tropical storm Barry push water over a seawall at Lake Pontchartrain on July 13, 2019. David Grunfeld / The Advocate via AP

President Donald Trump told people across the region to stay vigilant, tweeting on Sunday: “A big risk of major flooding in large parts of Louisiana and all across the Gulf Coast. Please be very careful!”