A travel alert has been issued for New Orleans ahead of an approaching hurricane.

A state of emergency has been declared as Tropical Storm Barry heads towards the city, with flights and other transport links set to be disrupted.

New Orleans has already been hit by flash floods and thunderstorms.

A hurricane warning is in effect for much of the Louisiana coast and a tropical storm warning for New Orleans.

The US National Hurricane Centre warned of a “dangerous storm surge, heavy rains, flooding and wind conditions” across the Gulf coast.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in an updated travel advisory: “Severe thunderstorms have caused flooding in New Orleans.

“A tropical storm is also forecast in the Gulf of Mexico which could affect the coastal areas of Louisiana and Alabama from Friday 12 July.

“You should monitor local weather updates from the [US] National Weather Service and follow the advice of local authorities.”