The National Hurricane Center has declared a Tropical Storm Warning for the Gulf Coast from Intracoastal City, La., to the Alabama/Florida state line.

The warning also covers Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and metropolitan New Orleans.

According to the NHC, a “subtropical or tropical depression or storm is likely to form over the west-central Gulf of Mexico (late Thursday) or early Friday,”

“Rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend from the Central Gulf Coast northeastward into the Southern Appalachians,” according to the NHC’s 4 p.m. advisory Thursday. “This will likely produce areas of flash, urban, and small stream flooding as well as minor to isolated moderate river flooding with new and renewed rises on already elevated rivers.

“The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.”

The National Weather Service has predicted that the storm system currently designated as "Tropical Wave 92L" could strengthen into either a tropical depression or tropical storm and start lashing the Coast as early as Friday afternoon.

Mayor Mike Favre and the Bay St. Louis City Council on Thursday declared the existence of a local emergency in advance of potential tropical storm activity in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday.

According to the proclamation, the declaration of a local emergency allows the city "to provide for the health and safety of the citizens and the protection of their property within the affected jurisdiction."

The Hancock County Emergency Management Agency began offering self-serve sand and sand bags at the following locations as if 3 p.m. Thursday. LOCATIONS:

• Hancock County Horse Arena, 4184 Kiln Delisle Road

• Old Hancock County Complex, 3068 Longfellow Drive

• Lakeshore Community Center, 6440 Lower Bay Road

• Bayside Fire Department, 6215 West Hinds Street

• West Hancock Fire Department, 16006 Washington Street

• Diamondhead City Hall, 5000 Diamondhead Circle

Please bring your own shovel. If you need assistance with getting the sand-bags, please contact the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency at 228-255-0942 or Hancock County Central Dispatch at 228-255-9191.

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