President Obama declared a state of emergency in Louisiana as Tropical Storm Isaac neared the Gulf Coast, where it’s expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane as early as tonight. The declaration makes federal funding available for storm-related emergency activities.
The storm is following Hurricane Katrina’s path and headed directly for New Orleans, but officials warn that a much larger area will be affected: “some of the heaviest impact may be in Alabama and Mississippi.”
In New Orleans, there have been no city-wide evacuations, and most residents are hunkering down and getting ready to ride out the storm. Residents have been warned that they may lose power and water for a few days, but Isaac is weaker than Katrina and officials are confident that $14.5 billion in improvement to flood control systems will help the city avoid the kind of devastation caused by the storm that hit seven years ago.