At the time of writing, Tropical Storm Barry was churning some 200 miles (320km) southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana. The storm is packing maximum sustained winds of 40mph (56km/h). The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has reported that addition; strengthening is expected, and Barry is on track to become a hurricane late on Friday or early Saturday.
Which areas are under evacuation order?
Louisiana is at greatest risk, with a state of emergency declared on Wednesday and National Guard troops and high-water vehicles positioned all over the state.
Mandatory evacuations are in place in the south-east of New Orleans, predominantly the Plaquemines Parish, which has already been hit by heavy rain.
A mandatory evacuation was also issued for Grand Isle and Jefferson Parish beginning at noon on Thursday.
Tens of thousands of residents are affected by these evacuations.
Plaquemines Parish President Kirk Lepine said the order was issued as a cautionary measure in response to the historically high water levels being recorded in the Mississippi River.
He said: “We’ve never experienced a high river like this before in such an early period of the hurricane season. The unknown is what’s got us to a little concerned.
“We want the public to heed to our warnings. If we asked you to evacuate, if we ask you to move, please find a way.”
The NHC tropical storm warnings stretch from the Mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City.
An additional storm surge warning is in place for the Louisiana coast from the Mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Shell Beach.
Louisiana isn’t the only state under threat.
The NHC has also issued a tropical storm watch for the Mississippi coast east of the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border, and for Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas including metropolitan New Orleans.
A storm surge watch is in effect for the Mississippi coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border.
The latest track shows Barry moving at a slow pace, with landfall expected on the southeastern coast of Louisiana Friday night or Saturday.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said: “The entire coast of Louisiana is at play in this storm.”
The slow movement of the storm is causing concern, with the risk of prolonged rain leading to flooding.
New Orleans officials have asked residents to keep at least three days of supplies on hand and to keep their neighbourhood storm drains clear so water can move quickly.
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