After killing eight people in Haiti and two in the Dominican Republic, Isaac is now expected to become a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 mph late Tuesday or early Wednesday as it hits somewhere between New Orleans and the edge of the Florida Panhandle.
Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama have all declared states of emergency, meanwhile evacuation orders for low-lying areas of the Gulf Coast and offshore oil drilling platforms are already in effect. The storm has also delayed the Republican National Convention until Tuesday,
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As of this writing, Isaac maintains maximum sustained winds of 65 mph while moving west-northwest at 14 mph at a distance of about 405 miles southeast of Mississippi.
"Right now we're forecasting 6 to 12 feet of storm surge if it continues at the time of high tide in the southeast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coast," said NHC meteorologist Jessica Schauer.
According to the bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, 39 oil production platforms and eight drilling rigs have been evacuated, with 24 percent of daily oil production and 8 percent of natural gas production being cut off. In total, there are 596 manned platforms and 76 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.
In order to "get ready to take care of the whole state," Florida Governor Rick Scott pulled out of the Republican National Convention, where here he was originally set to give a speech on Monday night.
Isaac has peeled away at the scar tissue left by the memory of 2005's devastating Hurricane Katrina. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant stated, "It's difficult to realize to the day - seven years after Katrina - another hurricane is headed our way."
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu expresses the same sentiment, expressing: "I sense a high level of anxiety...The timing, as fate would have it, on the anniversary of Katrina has everybody in a state of alertness, but that is a good thing."
Katrina took the lives of 1,836 people in the hurricane and $81 billion in property damage was inflicted.