Parts of coastal Louisiana declared a state of emergency as 2019's first tropical storm made landfall.
As reported by CNN, hurricane watches were issued and extend from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Cameron, Louisiana, but not to the New Orleans metropolitan area.
Residents along the coast can expect storm surges, hurricane-force winds and extensive flooding over the coming days.
Tropical Storm Barry will move towards the Gulf of Mexico by Thursday. Experts predict that the tropical storm will be re-classified as a hurricane by Saturday.
The storm, which moves at about 8 miles per hour and has already prompted a tornado warning, can be tracked here.
The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority announced earlier today their plans to close more than 90 floodgates along the Mississippi system.
Spokesperson Antwan Harris confirmed that 21 flood gates had already been closed, and the remaining 70 will be closed overnight.
Earlier today, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency "due to Tropical Invest 92L. The mayor said on social media:
"New Orleans may experience more widespread localized severe flooding and gale force winds that could result in the endangerment and threat of life, injury and possible property damage."
Louisiana governor John Bell also announced a state of emergency, effective until 8 August. He said:
“This is going to be a Louisiana event with coastal flooding and widespread, heavy rainfall potentially impacting every part of the state.”
Families ought to practice their evacuation plan ahead of time, such as leaving the premises in a hurry and traveling the route to a shelter.
It's advised to stock up on essentials such as food and water to last at least three days. Keep each person's specific needs in mind when it comes to dietary choices and medication.
Keep supply kits in different locations if possible, and assist community members with building a kit if you have the means to do so.
Ensure that your vehicle is serviced ahead of time, and keep extra gas and supplies in the trunk, as well as a spare change of clothes. Read more here.