People along the Gulf Coast are preparing for what could become the first hurricane of the season.

Storm watches and warnings are now in place in states along the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida.

This weekend, the large storm system is expected to develop into Hurricane Barry, which would be the first hurricane of the 2019 season.

On Wednesday, New Orleans got a possible preview of what's to come when a downpour dumped 8 inches of rain on the city in just three hours.

The storm comes as the Mississippi River is flowing at twice its normal level.

The Army Corps of Engineers is predicting the water will over-top the levees in some low-lying areas.

New Orleans officials say they're as prepared as they can be with 118 of the city's 120 drainage pumps operational and ready to be put to work if needed.