Officials in New Orleans, US have warned city residents to stock up on supplies and prepare to shelter in their homes as life-threatening Tropical Storm Barry was poised to come ashore as possibly the first Atlantic hurricane of 2019.
While the tempest did not yet have hurricane-force winds, it was forecast to bring torrential rains of up to 25 inches in certain places, which officials said risked flooding along the already-swollen lower Mississippi River.
New Orleans mayor said no evacuations were ordered from the low-lying city which strengthened its flood defenses after devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for Louisiana, and the region's oil production was cut in half as energy companies evacuated offshore drilling facilities.
The National Hurricane Center said Barry will likely strengthen into a hurricane, with winds of at least 74 miles per hour by the time it reaches the central Louisiana coast on Saturday.