Isaac Becomes Hurricane, Moves Closer To New Orleans

Tuesday, August 28th 2012, 7:17 am
By: News On 6

Tropical storm Isaac is now Hurricane Isaac, and it could flood the coasts of four states with storm surge and heavy rains as it inches closer to New Orleans. 

Louisiana residents have hunkered down behind levies fortified after Katrina struck seven years ago this week. 

Shelters are open for those who chose to stay before the outer bands of the large storm blow ashore ahead of landfall in southeast Louisiana Tuesday night or early Wednesday. 

Forecasters say Isaac has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tuesday that Isaac gained strength as it moved over the warm, open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.   

Isaac has the potential to bring much-needed rain to drought-stricken eastern Oklahoma. National Weather Service meteorologist Pete Snyder says it's too early to tell how much, if any, rainfall eastern Oklahoma could receive from the tropical system.

Snyder says how far west Isaac tracks in the Gulf of Mexico will play a role in any potential precipitation for that region of the state.

The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor shows northeastern Oklahoma in exceptional drought -- the most severe category. The remainder of eastern Oklahoma was in severe to extreme drought. 

News On 6 meteorologist Alan Crone says right now it the forecast for rain from Isaac is rather low, but he feels we will have a better picture when Isaac makes land fall.

Read more on Alan Crone's Weather Blog

The Associated Press contributed to this story.