Tropical storm "Barry" will make landfall as a hurricane on Saturday, causing torrential downpours and life-threatening floods, according to USA's National Hurricane Centre.
"Strengthening is forecast before landfall, and Barry is expected to be a hurricane when the centre reaches the Louisiana coast on Saturday. Weakening is expected after Barry moves inland," CNN quoted the agency as saying.
Residents in Louisiana have stocked up on food and other basic necessities in the wake of the calamity, which is expected to cause surges and floods along the Mississippi River. The Mayor of New Orleans has asked all civilians to find shelter by 8 PM on Friday (local time) after thunderstorms hit the region on Wednesday, according to Sputnik.
"Barry is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches over southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches. These rains are expected to lead to dangerous, life-threatening flooding over portions of the central Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley," the agency added.
Hurricane warnings have been issued for regions from the south of Lafayette to the south of New Orleans.
"This is happening...Your preparedness window is shrinking. It's powerful. It's strengthening, and water is going to be a big issue," National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham cautioned on Friday.
A major part of New Orleans lies below sea level, making it susceptible to floods. The city relies heavily on its pump-and-levee protection system due to this.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has already declared a state of emergency on Friday, adding that approximately 3,000 National Guard members are on standby for the storm.
"Heed the warnings. It's deeper than they believe it to be, and also there's current that sometimes is imperceptible. We need individuals to not drive through standing water," Edwards stated. (ANI)