UPDATE 2 p.m. EDT: Barry has been downgraded from a Hurricane to a Tropical Storm as it makes landfall in Louisiana, the National Hurricane Service announced just before 2 p.m. EDT.
The Tropical Storm made landfall by Intracoastal City, Louisiana, the NHS said. An NHS advisory warned residents of "Dangerous storm surge, heavy rains, and wind conditions continuing across the north-central gulf coast."
UPDATE 11:10 a.m. EDT: Barry has officially strengthened to a hurricane as it moves onto the Louisiana coast, according to the National Hurricane Service.
Hurricane Barry has maximum sustained winds of up to 75 mph, and the center of the storm is about 40 miles south of Lafayette, Louisiana, according to the NHS.
Slow-moving Tropical Storm Barry strengthened and is on the verge of becoming a hurricane Saturday morning as it took aim at the Louisiana coast.
According to the National Hurricane Center's 8 a.m. EDT intermediate advisory, Barry had sustained winds of 70 mph as it inched slowly toward the Louisiana shore. The eye of the storm was located 50 miles west-southwest of Morgan City, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The system is moving northwest at 5 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The next advisory by the National Hurricane Center is scheduled for 11 a.m. EDT.
Storm surge, heavy rains and wind were beginning to affect the north-central Gulf coast as Barry prepared to make landfall, WDSU reported.
By early Saturday, more than 33,000 people were without power in southeastern Louisiana, according to Entergy's online outage map.
Earlier Friday, Coast Guard officials said the Mississippi River was closed to all vessel traffic, NOLA.com reported.
This is a developing story.
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