A major tropical storm is bearing down on the Gulf Coast and could strengthen into a hurricane before it makes landfall.

The National Hurricane Center is warning of dangerous storm surge, heavy rains, and wind conditions across the North-Central Gulf Coast.

As of Friday morning, the outer bands of tropical storm Barry are lapping at the edge of the Louisiana coast.

The National Hurricane Center says Barry is a slow-moving system that brings heavy rainfall and a significant flood threat for the area.

As much as 25 inches of rain could fall in some places.

The Army Corps of Engineers believes the flooded Mississippi River will remain contained by the 20-foot levees that protect New Orleans.

Officials are warning that there are limits to what the levees and water pumps can do and say residents should be prepared to shelter in place.

Thursday night, President Trump declared a federal emergency for the Gulf Coast region.