St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta on Saturday morning will declare a state of emergency and has called for a voluntary evacuation of residents and businesses outside of the levee system as officials brace for Tropical Storm Karen.

The declaration will go into effect at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Clerk of Court Randy Nunez has cancelled early voting that was set to begin on Saturday. Voting will resume on Monday.

“We urge all residents to prepare for the possibility of a rain and wind event,” Peralta said in a prepared statement. “Those living in low lying areas should take precautionary measures to prevent damage to property.”

Peralta asked that all residents secure items on their property and clear storm drains.

The parish’ emergency operations center will begin operating at 9 a.m. and will remain open until the end of the state of emergency. Residents with questions or concerns can call the emergency operations center at (504) 278-4268.