Hurricane Isaac Hits US Coast, Louisiana

Posted August 28th, 2012 at 8:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Hurricane Isaac has made landfall, slamming into the southeastern coast of Lousiana.

The National Hurricane Center said the powerful storm came ashore late Tuesday bringing sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour. Forecasters also warned of dangerous storm surges along the northern U.S. Gulf Coast.

Earlier, forecasters reported flooding along low-lying areas along the coast. They said some parts of Louisiana could see surges as high as three to four meters.

Earlier Tuesday, President Barack Obama urged residents to get out of the storm's way, saying, “now is not the time to tempt fate” and dismiss official warnings.

The president declared states of emergency for Louisiana and Mississippi, making both states eligible for federal funding and other aid.

Forecasters warn the slow-moving storm is bringing heavy rains and maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers an hour. The system could make landfall by early Wednesday.

Hurricane Isaac comes almost seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the region, killing 1,800 people and causing massive damage.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Tuesday that his city “dodged a bullet” since Isaac is only a Category One storm. But he said the storm is strong enough to cause damage and bodily harm.

New Orleans officials are telling residents to be prepared to live without regular water or power supplies for several days.

Isaac battered eastern Cuba Saturday, after killing at least 19 people in Haiti, which is still recovering from a devastating 2010 earthquake. Two people were killed in the Dominican Republic. There were no reports of fatalities in Cuba.