Isaac bearing down on Gulf Coast - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Isaac bearing down on Gulf Coast

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NEW ORLEANS (WKOW) -- Tropical Storm Isaac hasn't hit hurricane strength yet, but it's bearing down on New Orleans almost seven years to the day that Hurricane Katrina hit the region.

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.

Forecasters predict it will come ashore on Tuesday. 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.

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NEW ORLEANS (WKOW) -- Hurricane warnings are issued for the Gulf Coast from central Louisiana to the Florida panhandle because of Tropical Storm Isaac. It's expected to become a hurricane Monday.

Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have all declared state of emergencies ahead of the storm's landfall. Isaac is expected to strengthen to a weak Category 2 or Category 1 hurricane before it makes landfall along the Gulf Coast, possibly Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

If it hits the Gulf Coast Wednesday morning, as forecasters said is possible, it would come on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed hundreds of people and flooded 80 percent of New Orleans. A hurricane hasn't hit the Gulf Coast since Ike in 2008.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu admitted they're anxious. "The timing of this storm coming on, as fate would have it, the anniversary of Katrina, has everybody in a state and sense of alertness and that is a good thing," he said Sunday.

Louisiana Governor. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency and said he's "strongly advising" people in low lying areas of coastal Louisiana to evacuate ahead of the storm. St. Charles Parish officials told the parish's 53,000 residents to leave ahead of the storm.

"There is a 70 to 80 percent chance we'll have tropical storm winds in southeast Louisiana and again as it moves west you'll see more of our state could potentially be covered, by those wind warnings," Jindal said on Sunday.

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