United States President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Barry bears down on New Orleans. The southern city is bracing itself for extreme winds over the weekend with the weather system expected to reach hurricane strength when it nears the coast of Louisiana.

Trump’s national disaster declaration, will allow federal agencies to participate in emergency relief efforts. The incoming storm has evoked memories of Hurricane Katrina, the costliest and deadliest hurricane in US history, which submerged about 80 percent of New Orleans as the city’s flood defences gave way.

Katrina led to about 1 800 deaths and more than 150 billion dollars in damage.