Hurricane Isaac is heading towards New Orleans, an area that still echoes the pains of Hurricane Katrina, seven years later. Isaac was officially changed from a tropical storm to a hurricane early Tuesday afternoon.
Hurricane Isaac is expected to make landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday on Louisiana's Gulf Coast, Yahoo! News reported after the National Hurricane Center released a bulletin on Hurricane Isaac's path:
...RECONNAISSANCE DATA INDICATE ISAAC FINALLY ACHIEVES HURRICANE STATUS...REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT MAXIMUM WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH ISAAC HAVE INCREASED TO 75 MPH...120 KM/H. ON THIS BASIS...ISAAC IS BEING UPGRADED TO A HURRICANE.
Hurricane Isaac 2012 path. Story continues below.
Tracking of Hurricane Isaac's path shows it is becoming more powerful, with winds up to 75 mph. The eye of the hurricane was about 75 miles from the mouth of Mississippi River at midday on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. It is expected to remain a Category 1 storm and winds could swirl up to 95 mph.
AP did note that Hurricane Isaac's path could still shift, veering further west or east into Mississippi.
Isaac marks the first hurricane to hit New Orleans since Ike in 2008. However, little compares to the devastation of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, which was one of the five deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history, claiming the lives of at least 1,800 people. Isaac's path is expected to take the storm through the seventh anniversary of Katrina, which hit the city on Aug. 29.
New Orleans has learned from Katrina. Today, citizens take warnings more seriously, cities are better equipped with evacuation and rescue plans, and there is confidence in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' $14 billion revamp of the 350 miles of levees and floodwalls, reported the Detroit Free Press.
Evacuations have already been issued in low-lying areas in the path of Hurricane Isaac, including Harrison County, Miss., CNN reported. Residents in Louisiana's St. Charles Parish and Terrebonne Parish were asked to leave, as well as in coastal areas of Alabama.
Hurricane Isaac, which swept over Haiti and the Dominican Republic, currently has a death toll of 29.