ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - President Donald Trump has declared a federal declaration of emergency for Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Barry's expected landfall late Friday or early Saturday along the state's coast.
Barry could have winds of about 75 mph (120 kph), just barely over the 74 mph threshold for a hurricane, when it comes ashore, making it a Category 1 storm, forecasters said.
The declaration late Thursday authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency, to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards had asked the Trump administration in a letter earlier Thursday that the state receive supplementary federal resources as soon as possible should they be needed.
Edwards says it is necessary that critical pre-positioning be provided through federal assistance.
Late Thursday evening, the storm was located about 85 miles (135 km) southwest of the mouth Mississippi River. It is moving west at 3 mph (6 km/h) and is expected to make a northwest turn on Thursday night. The NHC expects the center of the storm to be near the coast of Louisiana on Friday night or Saturday.
The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (85 km/h) with higher gusts. The NHC says that additional strengthening is expected and Barry could become a hurricane late Friday or early Saturday as it makes landfall.
Barry is expected to bring Tropical Storm conditions to the Louisiana coast by Friday, with hurricane conditions possible by Friday night or Saturday. This includes rainfall accumulations up to 20 inches, storm surge heights near six feet, powerful winds, and possible tornadoes.
Several watches and warnings have been issued, including:
- Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
- Intracoastal City to Grand Isle
- Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle
- Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas
- New Orleans
- Intracoastal City to Cameron
The good news for Florida is that Tropical Storm Barry is still moving away from the state.
For the latest in the Atlantic, visit OrlandoHurricane.com.