UPDATE: According to the National Hurricane Center website, Isaac has reached hurricane status.
Tropical Storm Isaac is on the verge of becoming a hurricane. So, where’s Isaac now?
FOX News Radio’s Courtney Kealy reports from Miami, Florida:
Isaac , a huge storm is slowly rolling through the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane when it moves onshore later tonight or early Wednesday. Jessica Schauer, a forecaster at the National Hurricane Center here in Miami saying:
(Schauer) “Center will be near or over the Louisiana coast tonight or early Wednesday.”
Heavy rain is one of the biggest threats. A storm surge of up to six to twelve feet is possible along the southeast coast of Louisiana and along the Mississippi coast.
In Miami, Florida, Courtney Kealy, FOX News Radio.
Tropical Storm Isaac is making its way towards the Gulf Coast, taking aim at New Orleans.
FOX News Radio’s Jeff Monosso reports from New Orleans, Louisiana:
The wind, right now about 30 miles-per-hour with Isaac about 100 miles away from the mouth of the Mississippi. The people here in Louisiana tell us they feel ready. And here in New Orleans, the city is about to test their fortified flood protection system for the first time since hurricane Katrina. Forecasters expect Isaac to power up to hurricane status before hitting late tonight. Mandatory evacuations remain in place in low-lying coastal areas and curfews are also now in place in other areas where people will wait out the storm.
In New Orleans, Jeff Monosso, FOX News Radio.
LISTEN to President Obama make a statement on Tropical Storm Isaac:
“Good morning, everybody. This morning I want to say a few words about Tropical Storm Isaac and the steps that we’re taking to keep people safe and minimize the damage.
I just got an update from Secretary Napolitano, Administrator Fugate, the head of FEMA, and Dr. Rick Knabb, the director of the National Hurricane Center, on preparations that are underway in the Gulf. This storm isn’t scheduled to make landfall until later today, but at my direction FEMA has been on the ground for over a week working with state and local officials in areas that could be affected — from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Florida, and more recently, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.
Yesterday I approved a disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana so they can get the help that they need right away, particularly around some of the evacuations that are taking place. And right now, we already have response teams and supplies ready to help communities in the expected path of the storm.
As we prepare for Isaac to hit, I want to encourage all residents of the Gulf Coast to listen to your local officials and follow their directions, including if they tell you to evacuate. We’re dealing with a big storm and there could be significant flooding and other damage across a large area. Now is not the time to tempt fate. Now is not the time to dismiss official warnings. You need to take this seriously.
And finally, I want to thank everyone who has been working around the clock to get ready for Isaac. The hardest work, of course, is still ahead. And as President, I’ll continue to make sure that the federal government is doing everything possible to help the American people prepare for and recover from this dangerous storm. And as we get additional updates from the Hurricane Center as well as from FEMA in terms of activities on the ground, we’ll be providing continuous updates both at the local and the national level.
WATCH to learn more on this story:
WATCH to see LIVE tracking of Isaac from the FOX News Extreme Weather Center: