Gulf Residents Brace for Isaac with Katrina in Mind

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Gulf residents are bracing for Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane by the time it makes landfall.

Forecasters now say the storm will hit somewhere between Louisiana and Pensacola, Fla.

Click play for the latest on Isaac's progress with meteorologist Vanessa Bezic.

Many residents expected to be in the storm's path have already started boarding up windows. Some are planning to leave, just in case.

Tourists along the coast who were hoping for some fun in the sun are now shortening their stay.

"We considered staying one extra night, but we decided that we would go ahead and get out today," Shari Cain, a tourist in Alabama, said.

The National Weather Service has forecasted Isaac to hit the Gulf Coast late Tuesday or early Wednesday, just hours before the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina devastated the greater New Orleans area and parts of southern Mississippi and Alabama in 2005.

Those who lived through that powerful storm are taking things more seriously this time.

"With Katrina, we were all like, 'It's not coming toward us, it will be gone in two days.' And in the end, the worst," one New Orleans resident said.

The region's governors are also sending a clear message.

"We're encouraging all of our people to stay alert, to monitor local weather conditions in their area, and to follow what local officials are telling them," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

"I urge Mississippians to monitor their local media and heed all warnings and evacuation orders issued by local and state officials," Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant also repeated.

Forecasters had been targeting Tampa for days, but most of Florida escaped the worst of the storm.

Still, many areas were pounded by wind and drenched in heavy rain, triggering memories of Hurricane Andrew from 20 years ago.

"The wind that I heard when this happened I haven't heard it since Andrew," one resident recalled.

Key West residents checking out Isaac's aftermath found some streets partly covered with seaweed.

Meanwhile, in New Orleans people are filling their tanks with gas early and scouring the local markets for scarce supplies, especially water.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.