NEW ORLEANS — As Tropical Storm Barry approaches the state's coast, tourists in New Orleans are being asked to "shelter in place" in their hotels if they don't have confirmed airline reservations for flights out of the city.

The message came Friday at a news conference by city officials. The director of Louis Armstrong International Airport said long lines formed early Friday as many visitors sought early departures. And Kristian Sonnier of the local tourism agency, says people who don't get flights out won't be able to shelter at the airport.

Officials said one major convention, the annual meeting of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was wrapping up early.

The slow-moving storm is prompting fears of flooding in the region. Hurricane warnings are in effect along the Louisiana coast. The storm's center is expected to come ashore Saturday.

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