UPDATED 8:55 AM PT – Sat. July 13, 2019
Barry strengthens into a category 1 hurricane as it near the Louisiana coast.
Weather experts said this Saturday morning, the storm was upgraded to a hurricane, and residents are currently sheltering in place.
Tens of thousands of people are without power in Louisiana, as National Guard and Coast Guard units have been deployed to major cities along the Gulf.
Wind speeds are estimated at over 75 miles per hour, and heavy rainfall is expected to lead to massive flooding and storm surges. A tornado warning is also in effect for the region.
“It is a dangerous and life-threatening storm,” said meteorologist of the National Weather Service, Benjamin Schot. “Time is short. If you have preparations that you need to complete now is the time. You do not have much more time at all before the impacts of Barry will be here.”
A curfew is in effect for people living inside the New Orleans flood protection system, while locals outside the region have been asked to evacuate.