The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasts heavy rain, high storm surge, and strong winds across the north-central Gulf Coast in the coming days due to the likely formation of a hurricane by Friday, July 12. A tropical disturbance currently located in the northern Gulf of Mexico is predicted to develop into a tropical storm by Thursday evening (local time), July 11, and strengthen into a hurricane by Friday. Hurricane, tropical storm, and storm surge watches are in effect for the Louisiana state coast and further watches and warnings are likely to be issued in the coming hours and days for other parts of the coast, including east Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle.
Meteorologists forecast storm surges of 1-1.8 m (3-6 ft) and rainfall of 15-30 cm (6-12 in), with localized totals up to 45 cm (18 in). Intense flash flooding already inundated parts of New Orleans (Louisiana state) on Wednesday, July 10, and further flooding is likely for the region along with strong winds and associated damage and disruptions. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency across the state on Wednesday ahead of the expected storm. Power outages, downed trees, infrastructure damage, road closures, and flight and rail delays and cancelations are possible.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, ensure adequate food, water, battery, and medical supplies, and anticipate severe weather, flooding, strong winds, and associated power, telecommunication, and transportation disruptions.
Remember that walking or driving through water can be dangerous and floodwater may contain wastewater and chemical products.
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