Tropical Storm Isaac was upgraded to a category 1 hurricane today as it steadily continued moving towards the northern gulf coast. The National Hurricane Center said Isaac is now traveling at 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. Isaac was located about 160 miles southeast of New Orleans shortly after 12 p.m.
Hurricane Isaac is expected to make landfall somewhere on a 300 mile stretch of coastline between Louisiana and Florida tonight or early tomorrow, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Forecasters predict Isaac will dump 7 to 14 inches of rain and could push up to 12 feet of floodwater into some areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. All three states have declared a state of emergency.
President Barack Obama released a statement about Isaac on Tuesday. “As we prepare for Isaac to hit, I want to encourage local residents of the Gulf Coast to listen to your local officials and follow their directions, including if they tell you to evacuate. We’re dealing with a big storm, and there could be significant flooding and other damage across a large area. Now’s not the time to tempt fate. Now’s not the time to dismiss official warnings. You need to take this seriously,” he said.
“The hardest work, of course, is still ahead. And as president, I’ll continue to make sure that the federal government is doing everything possible to help the American people prepare for, and recover from, this dangerous storm,” President Obama added.
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