NEW ORLEANS — The storm threatening the Louisiana coast has strengthened to a hurricane.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. Saturday advisory that Barry had reached maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, with higher gusts.
Hurricane-force winds were measured some 45 miles to the east of the storm's center, which was located 40 miles south of Lafayette, Louisiana. It was moving northwest at 6 mph.
Weather forecasters said a hurricane warning is in effect for Intracoastal City to Grand Isle. Such a warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area.
HURRICANE BARRY: Path, Spaghetti Models, Live Radar
Here is a timeline of events for different threats from Hurricane Barry:
Landfall along Louisiana's Coast
Hurricane Barry is set to make landfall around midday Saturday between Lafayette and Morgan City, Louisiana.
Tropical Storm Force Winds
As of 11 p.m. Friday, tropical storm force winds are already being seen along Louisiana's coast. The New Orleans metro area and the Northshore will start to see stronger winds overnight and early Saturday.
Tornadoes are possible through Saturday across Southeast Louisiana, southern Mississippi and the Alabama Coast.
As of 7 am Saturday advisory, storm surge from Hurricane Barry is already being seen along Louisiana's coast. This storm surge will gradually increase through Saturday.
A combination of dangerous storm surge and tides will cause normally dry areas along the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.
The water could reach the following heights above ground at these locations:
- Louisiana's southeastern coast: 3 to 6 feet
- St. Bernard Parish to Biloxi, Miss.: 3 to 5 feet
- Lake Pontchartrain: 3 to 5 feet
Barry is expected to produce between 10 to 20 inches of rain over south central and southeast Louisiana. Some areas could receive up to 25 inches of rain.
These rains can lead to dangerous, life-threatening flooding along the Gulf Coast.
Stay with Eyewitness News on WWL-TV and WWLTV.com for more on this developing story.
Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.