WICHITA, Kan. While Tropical Storm Barry bears down on Louisiana and the gulf region, the storm's impact will have a much wider reach.
Several oil refineries shut down operations ahead of Barry. As Kansas gets a majority of its oil supply from the gulf region, this is likely to increase local gas prices.
"We could see an uptick in prices over the next few days," says Shawn Steward with AAA (Triple-A) Kansas.
With a close eye on what's developing a few hundred miles to our southeast, the American Red Cross in Wichita is on standby, ready to send volunteers to Louisiana. As it waits to see what unfolds and the level of need that will follow, the organization says it has plenty of work to do regionally as the Midwest recovers from flooding.
"The Red Cross has trained disaster volunteers on the ground, and we have logistically placed relief supplies and emergency response vehicles in position to deliver relief when we are ready to respond to this disaster," says Jenny Marsh with the American Red Cross' Regional Philanthropy Office in Wichita. "Right now, our primary focus is to respond to Midwest flooding that is happening within our region."
The months of Midwest flooding adds to the threat from Barry as the Mississippi River is at a level several feet higher than normal.
"As our rivers have all risen and impacted the flooded areas, we sent that water downstream, and it has impacted Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, as well as Louisiana," Marsh says.