Officials in New Orleans are telling residents to get ready for Isaac, which could grow to a Category 2
hurricane by the time it’s expected to hit early Wednesday. But they’re not ordering evacuations in the city.
There are hurricane warnings across the 280 miles from Morgan City, La., to the Florida-Alabama state line, and people living in low-lying areas are being told to leave.


Isaac has winds of 70 mph. Its center was about 230 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and it was moving northwest at 10 mph. Hurricane warnings extend across 280 miles from Morgan City, La., to the Florida-Alabama state line. It could become the first hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast since 2008.

With its massive size and slow speed, Isaac could become a punishing rain machine. The Gulf Coast region has been saturated already because of a wet summer. Intense rain could make it easy for trees and power lines to fall over in the wet ground.

Too much water also could flood crops, and wind could topple plants such as corn and cotton.



President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in Louisiana as that state prepares for Tropical Storm Isaac.

The White House said Obama informed Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal of the emergency declaration in a phone call Monday. The declaration makes federal funding available for emergency activities related to the storm. Obama also spoke with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Obama has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts with state and local officials along the Gulf Coast.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)