(KPEL) -- Gov. Bobby Jindal has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Debby approaches the Louisiana coast.

The emergency declaration authorizes the director of the state's Department of Homeland Security "to undertake any activity authorized by law which he deems necessary and appropriate in response to this declaration," Jindal says.

Jindal says Debby has the potential for heavy rainfall along the coastal parishes, as well coastal and flash flooding in the inward parishes.

"Debby...creates a threat to the lives and property of the citizens of the State and justifies emergency protective measures to guard against such threats," Jindal says.

As of 11 a.m., Debby was located in the Gulf of Mexico about 170 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. According to the National Hurricane Center, its latest projected path takes Debby along the Louisiana coast, making landfall, possibly as a category 1 hurricane, sometime between Wednesday and Thursday.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle.