Tuesday News on Storm Isaac: He is No Katrina, Yet Anniversary Stirs Anxieties

"Now is not the time to tempt fate" said President Obama. And bumper-to-bumper cars are seen leaving New Orleans for higher ground.

By Judy Feldman on August 28, 2012 11:06 AM EDT

Isaac 2012
Tuesday News:Isaac is No Katrina, yet Anniversary Stirs Anxieties (Photo: Wiki Commons)

Not quite yet classified a Hurricane, as of Tuesday morning, Tropical Storm Isaac is slowly closing in towards New Orleans, expected to become a Category I, with storm surges of 6-12 feet. Current forecasts indicate that Isaac will make landfall along the Mississippi or Southeast Louisiana coast as a hurricane with 85 mph winds.

As of early Tuesday morning, Isaac's top sustained winds were about 70 mph. The storm system's center, about 105 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, was moving 7- 12  mph to the  northwest reported the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

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"The wind hasn't quite gotten there yet," National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb said to NBC, describing Isaac's 70 mph sustained winds, four miles below hurricane strength.

But Isaac is quite large, with the storm winds spreading 205 miles wide from the center. Also,  the tropical storm's winds move counterclockwise, making things more difficult for New Orleans especially if Isaac makes landfall to the west of the city.

"Rainfall of 7-14 inches across the region is likely, and a few places could even see 20 inches, Knabb reported, and said that there could be "a lot of hazards to contend with, even isolated tornadoes" are possible Tuesday and into Wednesday.  

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has not ordered an evacuation of the city. Not yet, although  many residents who can, are choosing to leave the city now for higher ground. Memories have been stirred, and people do not want to repeat the horrors of Katrina.

The Army Corps of Engineers have spent almost $14 million to shore up the levees. (Not all, but most of the work is completed.)

One other concern is that floating oil tar from the Gulf may comes ashore.

Certainly there is much to keep watch for, especially as the storm is now quite wide andthreatens four states of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Already it haskilled 22 people, having lashed out at Cuba and Haiti over the week-end. Storms and hurricanes are tricky and tornadoes are sometimes part of the mix.

According to CBS, President Obama today urged resident of the Gulf Coast to heed the directions of local officials as they prepare for the arrival of Isaac, the tropical storm that's expected to reach hurricane strength and hit ground later in the day." "Now is not the time to tempt fate," Mr. Obama said from the White House. "You need to take this seriously." Under the president's direction, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials have been on the ground in the Gulf region for over a week, but "the hardest work is still ahead," said President Obama.

Keep tuned.

 For tracking the path of Isaac, live, see here. http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/storm_tracker/index.html

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