The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Barry has significantly strengthened during the past several hours. Barry, who is currently categorised as a tropical storm is expected to become a hurricane by the time it makes landfall on Saturday. NOAA has warned tropical storm conditions is already “spreading across portions of southeastern Louisiana”.
Barry is the first extreme weather system of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season to make landfall.
Dangerous storm surge, heavy rains and wind conditions are expected across the North-Central Gulf Coast.
It is currently blowing maximum sustained winds of 65mph (100km/h) and is moving west-northwest at 5mph.
Devastating flooding is predicted, as Barry’s unrelenting rain poses the most peril to millions in its path.
READ MORE: Hurricane Barry: Staggering satellite images – Storm Barry strengthens
US President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency for Louisiana, where officials activated 3,000 National Guard members in anticipation of the destruction Barry might bring, the state’s Governor John Bel Edwards said.
Mr Edwards warned people against trying to drive through floodwater.
He said: “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.”
READ MORE: Hurricane Barry: ‘Life threatening’ storm to make landfall in hours
Hurricane Barry latest warnings
A hurricane warning is in effect for Intracoastal City to Grand Isle.
The warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
NOAA warns people finding themselves in the area that “preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”
Tropical Storm Warning
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas including metropolitan New Orleans and Intracoastal City to Cameron.
Storm Surge Warning and Watches
A Storm Surge Warning has been issued in areas from Intracoastal City to Biloxi and Lake Pontchartrain.
Meanwhile, a watch is in effect for Mouth of the Mississippi River to Grand Isle and Intracoastal City to Cameron.
Tropical Storm Watch
The watch is in effect for East of the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi and Alabama border.