Tens of thousands of Louisiana residents are racing to evacuate their homes today as Tropical Storm Isaac picked up strength in the Gulf of Mexico.
CNN reported that states of emergency have been declared in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley ordering mandatory evacuations for residents who live along the coast and for those in some low-lying areas inland.
"I am urging everyone to take precautions now, monitor weather warnings, and be prepared for whatever Isaac may bring," Bentley said in a statement.
A hurricane warning was issued for the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, from Morgan City, Louisiana, east to Destin, Florida, the National Hurricane Center said.
Hurricane forecasters said Isaac’s winds and rain will lash an extensive area of southeast Mississippi, southwest Alabama and the western portion of Florida’s panhandle, The New York Times reported.
Some areas are expected to be hit with 15-inches of rain, according to forecasters.
In a freak coincidence, the tropical storm was expected to make landfall late Tuesday or Wednesday - which was one day shy of seven years after Hurricane Katrina struck catastrophically in 2005.
On a positive note, Tampa, where the Republican National Convention is being held this week, will most likely be spared, the newspaper said.
It was on track to escape the most punishing weather, which was a reprieve to organizers. An estimated 65,000 people are expected in the area for the convention.
"It is difficult to realize that to the day - seven years after Katrina - another hurricane is headed our way," Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said in the Daily Mail.
"It is important for Mississippians to take this storm seriously and prepare for potential impact."