Gulf Coast prepares for tropical threat

Nearly 9 inches of rain hits New Orleans, submerging parts of the city as the tropical system strengthens in Gulf of Mexico.
3:25 | 07/11/19

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Transcript for Gulf Coast prepares for tropical threat
The latest on that tropical threat growing in the gulf. A state of emergency has already been declared in Louisiana and mandatory evacuations are going into place at 6:00 A.M. As the system brings flooding rain, strong winds to the gulf coast. There are fears it could become a hurricane as soon as tomorrow. Ginger back from Houston tracking the system for us. Hey, good morning to everyone. I have to take you straight to the gulf coast because we've got what looks like a disorganized mess in the gulf but later today it should become Barry. That's why we have hurricane watches up from Cameron over to New Orleans, flash flood watches from Lafayette to mobile, biloxi, Pensacola even. This is going to be a rain event. I cannot emphasize that enough. It is extremely slow moving and it's going to drop up to 20 inches of rain. This is the current path. New Orleans on the right side, it should become a hurricane by tomorrow night into early Saturday and make landfall early Saturday. And it's a worst case scenario for New Orleans. That right side the worst of it and that's why we got rob Marciano in norco. Good morning, ginger. Take a look at this. Water everywhere. As you know it's been an incredibly wet spring trying to drain here. This is the spillway. Over 150 Gates trying to divert about 10% of the Mississippi river into this basin which is normally dry. I mean some of the roads here have been flooded out for weeks. The last thing we need is a tropical anything in the gulf. A state of emergency declared in Louisiana as the tropical threat in the gulf organizes overnight. We know it's going to be a big storm, a significant rain and storm surge event. Reporter: As parts of the region could get up to 20 inches of rain into the weekend. The wind and rain from this tropical system already slamming cities submerging the famed French quarter of New Orleans and forming waterspouts. Areas of the crescent city drenched with eight inches of rain in three hours. Now Nola is bracing for more. Be safe, be smart. Take care of your neighbors. Take care of yourself. Reporter: The Mississippi river projected to reach 20 feet. Its highest level in nearly 70 years. People here taking no chances. Officials closing over 200 gladgates in preparation as they face the levee system's biggest test since Katrina. Mandatory evacuations under way near the mouth of the Mississippi river. Residents stocking up on supplies and sandbags and oil companies are already pulling workers off rigs. The army corps of engineers telling me though opened this for the second time this year. That has never been done and opens up a whole other set of issues down stream. The goal take the pressure off the levee system and keep the river at a level so it doesn't overtop the levees. Ginger. Rob, thank you so much for being there. I want to start off here just showing you exactly where the center is. It's about 125 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi, again, timing takes it late tomorrow night into early Saturday on shore. Storm surge, we're talking three to five feet. Flash flooding, tornadoes can spin up easily out of this anywhere in those outside bands up through Mississippi, even the Florida panhandle and watch this. The heavy rain will make its way all the way into Arkansas. We're talking 6 to 10 inches in this yellow area but 10 to 20 that includes Lafayette, baton Rouge and New Orleans. Okay, thanks very much. The latest now on the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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