NEW ORLEANS — National Hurricane Center director Ken Graham says people should be concerned even if Barry comes ashore as a tropical storm instead of a hurricane because its slow movement will bring hazardous drenching rain either way.

Speaking Friday, Graham said the storm's slow movement means there'll be more rainfall.

Forecasters say there's still a chance Barry will strengthen to a hurricane for a short time as it comes ashore on the Louisiana coast, where hurricane warnings are in effect. Pockets of Louisiana could get rainfalls as high as 25 inches.

Tropical Storm Barry is slowly churning off the Louisiana coast as communities from the coast to New Orleans keep a close eye on its predicted path.

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The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Friday morning that the center of the storm was about 95 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River and its top winds were blowing at 50 mph.

Forecasters stress that the slow movement of the storm is likely to bring a massive drenching, with pockets of Louisiana experiencing rainfalls as high as 25 inches.

Hurricane warnings are in effect along the Louisiana coast. The storm's center was expected to come ashore late Friday or early Saturday. It could grow into the first hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season.

LIVE UPDATES: Tropical Storm Barry's outer bands begin hitting southeast Louisiana

RELATED: What To Expect - 10-20 inches of rain


Stay with Eyewitness News on WWL-TV and for more on this developing story.