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.