ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Tropical Storm Barry is putting a ripple in plans across the Gulf Coast.

Well over 16,000 members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated traveled to New Orleans for the organization's 54th National Convention.

Friday morning sorority leaders decided to end the four-day convention two days early out of safety concerns about the incoming storm.

Thousands of Atlanta-based sorority members packed into the airport trying to get home. Some viewers sent CBS46 cell phone videos of the wind and flooding from earlier in the week.

The Mayor of New Orleans suggested to sorority leadership that members leave the city out of an abundance of caution.

“I was there on Wednesday morning when the rain started coming in,” said Donna Bowman. “My hotel flooded and I couldn't get out of the hotel for three hours. The streets were flooded,” she added.

CBS46 spoke to sorority members as they landed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

“Today at the airport at 4 a.m. for a 6 o'clock flight, there were 500 people standing outside and the majority of them sorority members,” Bowman told CBS46. “Inside, another 400 members. I barely made the flight,”

Bowman said noting that she changed her flight the day before.

Betty Mitchell told CBS46 that she changed her flight and got to the airport without any issue. “There were a lot of us there,” Mitchell said. “If they were not residing in Atlanta, they still probably came through."

"Atlanta changing flights so it was lots of us, lots,” Mitchell said.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She sent well-wishes to the women whose national meeting, focused on service, was diverted for safety.

“This is a huge event,” Bottoms said. “It's the highlight of our year for our sorority to convene together and so there were a lot of people excited about going. People have been planning for months to be in New Orleans and it is just my hope that they can leave quickly,” Bottoms said.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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