Tropical Storm Barry expected to become hurricane before hitting Louisiana coast

Residents along the Gulf Coast are waking up to power outages as Tropical Storm Barry approaches the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi with winds gusting to over 80 mph, just short of hurricane strength.

The National Weather Service said Barry is expected to become a hurricane before reaching the shore.

More than 61,000 homes had already lost power in Louisiana alone before the first major storm of the hurricane season reached the shore.

Slow-moving Barry shifted a bit west and strengthened overnight, and is expected to make landfall south of Lafayette, Louisiana, about 135 miles west of New Orleans, reported.

Nevertheless, forecasters warned both states could be hit with 10 to 20 inches of rain, and in some spots that could rise to 25 inches, raising concerns about flooding.

Storm surge is also a big concern in the region. Nearby Morgan City, about 85 miles west of New Orleans, was already reporting a 7.5-foot storm surge with 81 mph winds.

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