US New Orleans issues evacuation order as tropical storm approaching

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(Photo: AP)

HOUSTON, June 7 (Xinhua) -- US New Orleans issued a voluntary evacuation order for areas outside the city's levee system Sunday afternoon as tropical storm Cristobal approaches the Gulf Coast.

Local media reported that officials are recommending residents outside the levee system to evacuate. There are no recommendations for evacuations from any of the areas within the levee system.

The order came as Cristobal's forward speed had dropped from 12 miles per hour to 5 miles per hour. That could mean Cristobal will bring a prolonged risk of storm surge to the area when it makes landfall, said weather forecast.

On Sunday morning, storm surge flooded streets of Grand Isle, an island along Louisiana coastline. Residents and visitors had been ordered to evacuate on Saturday.

The National Weather Service said last month that a 60 percent change of above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 every year.