NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Tropical Storm Barry is slowly churning off the Louisiana coast as communities from the coast to New Orleans keep a close eye on its predicted path.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Friday morning that the center of the storm was about 95 miles (155 kilometers) southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and its top winds were blowing at 50 mph (85 kph).
Forecasters stress that the slow movement of the storm is likely to bring a massive drenching, with pockets of Louisiana experiencing rainfalls as high as 25 inches (63 centimeters).
Hurricane warnings are in effect along the Louisiana coast. The storm's center was expected to come ashore late Friday or early Saturday. It could grow into the first hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season.