July 12 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump has declared a federal emergency for Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Barry, authorizing federal agencies to coordinate relief efforts ahead of the storm's landfall.
Trump's order activates efforts at the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency. Tropical Storm Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday and threatens to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane.
"FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency," the White House said of the declaration Thursday night.
Forecasters expect Barry to arrive on the U.S. Gulf Coast Saturday.
"To everyone on the Gulf Coast: As you make preparations to protect your homes & loved ones from flooding & the coming storm, it is imperative that you heed the directions of FEMA, state and local officials," Trump tweeted. "We are working closely with them. Please be prepared, be careful & be SAFE!"
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards submitted a federal disaster request earlier Thursday.
"This will be a statewide weather event that everyone should take seriously, which is why I have requested federal assistance," he said.
"This weather system threatens more than one foot of rainfall, life-threatening flash flooding, extreme winds and a storm surge of up to four feet throughout areas of South Louisiana," Louisiana's congressional delegation warned.
Barry is the second named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. The first, Andrea, formed in the west Atlantic Ocean but never approached land.