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JENNINGS — Jeff Davis Parish has declared a state of emergency ahead of a potential hurricane expected to make landfall in Louisiana by the weekend.

President Donald Woods announced the declaration Wednesday during a Police Jury meeting.

"Due to the possibility that severe tropical weather is expected to significantly impact Jeff Davis Parish, and there is the potential to cause flooding and wind damage in the parish, immediate emergency actions are required to minimize the effect of the flooding and other damages," Woods said, reading the declaration.

The area could be in need of emergency actions and support as the threat for a hurricane increases, he said.

The proclamation allows the Office of Emergency Preparedness to begin the process of preparing for the storm and activate the parish's emergency operations plans as needed.

The latest forecast predicts the tropical cyclone to become Hurricane Barry and make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane by Saturday.

There is the potential for destructive and life threatening winds and wind damage along and to the right of the storm path, including Jeff Davis, Allen, Evangeline and Acadia parishes from Saturday into Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

There is also the potential for significant rainfall, flash flooding and tornado threats across southwest Louisiana Friday through Sunday.

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