Isaac poised to become hurricane
NEW ORLEANS - The Associated PressTropical Storm Isaac is “on the verge” of becoming a hurricane as it barrels towards New Orleans, forecasters said yesterday, nearly seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.
“Isaac (is) on the verge of becoming a hurricane,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said, adding that there was a “significant storm surge and freshwater flood threat to the northern Gulf coast.” The Miami-based NHC predicted the center of the storm would be over the Louisiana coast by late yesterday, saying “preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.”
Forecasters warned of a coastal storm surge of up to 3.6 meters in southeast Louisiana and Mississippi.
The storm is set to hit on the exact anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which plowed into New Orleans on August 29, 2005, triggering one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, which killed some 1,800 people. Isaac has already cast a pall over the U.S. Republican convention in Florida, which was forced to delay main events for one day and risks losing prime time media attention to the approaching storm.
The storm left 24 dead in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but left little damage in Florida.