(RNN) – The winds of Isaac have reached 75 mph, reclassifying it as a category 1 hurricane, as it creeps closer to the Gulf coast.

The storm is located about 55 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River and 135 miles from New Orleans, the National Weather Service reported at 2:00 p.m. ET. The storm surge and rain fall are expected to cause flooding.

A hurricane warning is in effect for east of Morgan City, LA, to the Mississippi-Alabama border, including New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. The area from Intracoastal City to Morgan City, LA, have been placed under a hurricane watch.

A hurricane warning has been replaced by a tropical storm warning from the Mississippi-Alabama border eastward to Destin, FL, according to the NWS. The warning for east of Destin has been discontinued.

President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration for the state of Mississippi hours after his approval of a disaster declaration for Louisiana. In a 10 a.m. ET news conference, he asked residents in the path of Isaac to heed the warnings of officials.

“Now is not the time to tempt fate,” Obama said.

He said he met with the heads of FEMA, the National Hurricane Center and Homeland Security, and response teams and supplies had been prepared for areas the storm is expected to hit.

Also, he gave his assurance that everyone was prepared to handle the storm and the fallout.

Isaac appears to be following a path similar to Hurricane Katrina. It is expected to make landfall near New Orleans as a category 1 storm Wednesday – the seven-year anniversary of when Katrina tore through the city.

The slow-moving system is headed slightly west of New Orleans proper. According to the Associate Press, shelters were opened for people who stayed or missed the chance to get away before outer bands of the storm reached the shore.

Read more [19actionnews]

Article Courtesy of WOIO 19 Action News

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