WATCH LIVE: Radar tracks Hurricane Barry as it makes landfall on Louisiana coast
The slow-moving storm is expected to bring strong winds, heavy rains and flooding with the Comite River in the Baton Rouge area forecast to crest above a record set in 2016 floods.
Barry made landfall along the Louisiana coast at around 1 p.m., bringing with it the danger of heavy rains and potentially life-threatening flooding from the Gulf Coast north into the middle of next week.
Barry "poses a significant flooding threat" due to how slowly it is moving, the National Weather Service said.
It had strengthened briefly Saturday from a tropical storm to a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph before weakening again slightly.
Even before Barry made landfall, it was making itself felt in some parts of southern Louisiana.
On Saturday morning, a rescue operation was underway on Isle de Jean Charles, a remote island in Terrebonne Parish where at least a dozen people were stranded due to rising floodwaters, according to NBC affiliate WDSU .
The U.S. Coast Guard had been called to assist with the rescue after trees fell on a highway cutting people off from the island, the outlet reported.
Residents in Mandeville, which is on Lake Pontchartrain, also reported extreme flooding in their area. One video posted on Twitter showed water has already risen to the top of a fence surrounding a home.
The National Weather Service said Mandeville and surrounding areas can expect to see torrential rainfall and strong wind gusts.
Baton Rouge northwest of New Orleans could experience extreme flooding with the possibility that the Comite River will crest above a record set in floods in 2016 that caused between $10 billion to $15 billion in damage and left 13 people dead.
In anticipation of possible flooding in New Orleans, residents there piled sandbags outside of homes and businesses and unlatched storm drains to remove debris. The city’s public works department deployed a dozen vacuum trucks on Friday to clean out catch basins.
During a news conference Saturday afternoon, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said the “primary risk” for the city is heavy rains. The National Weather Service said the area could see between 10 to 20 inches of rainfall.
"We are not in any way out of the woods, and we will continue to reiterate this today, tonight and into tomorrow," Cantrell said.
A shelter-in-place order was issued in New Orleans Friday night as the city prepared for Barry. A police official at Saturday's news conference told residents: "Continue to be safe, continue to be smart, stay in your homes and stay off the roads."
Flights in and out of the state were canceled Saturday morning due to the pending storm.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, the main hub in the city, posted a travel advisory on its website telling customers that most airline carriers had canceled all flights.
Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport said in a tweet that flights were canceled and that travelers should check with their carrier about flights on Sunday.
The storm has also left tens of thousands of people in Louisiana without power, WDSU reported. Entergy Louisiana said in a tweetthat they have crews in place and will begin to restore power as soon as it is safe to do so.
As Barry moves through Louisiana it is expected to weaken before reaching Arkansas, areas of Memphis, Tennessee, and Greenville, Mississippi on Monday.