Gulf Coast braces for Isaac, expected to be upgraded to Category 1 hurricane

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | Monday, August 27, 2012

At least 10 people have died in Haiti and the Dominican Republic because of the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Isaac, which is scheduled to be upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane before it reaches the northern Gulf Coast region. That is expected to happen by Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

Governors of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana have already declared states of emergency in preparation for Isaac. Isaac’s landfall is predicted to hit New Orleans on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a Category 5 hurricane that killed more than 1,800 people.

National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb said on Monday, Aug. 27, that Isaac is “still not as well organized as it might get later.”

“We still think because of the warm waters and the relatively weak wind shear in the atmosphere, that it would be able to strengthen a little bit in the day to day and a half that it has left centered over water,” Knabb, who has a Ph.D. in meteorology, said in an audio address on Monday.

Ron Trumbla, public affairs officer for the National Weather Service’s southern region, told Land Line that truckers traveling in the affected areas can check the path of the storm at the NOAA website to get the “clearest picture of when and where the storm will have impacts.”

“As it approaches landfall, increased storm surge, wind speeds, heavy rainfall and possible tornadoes will be the primary concerns along the coastal regions,” Trumbla said. “As it moves further inland, heavy rain, tornadoes and inland flooding will be the primary concerns.” 

Trumbla recommends that truckers heading to specific areas check for local forecast information provided by NOAA at the Southern Region Headquarters.

The following is a directory of handy links and phone numbers for staying on top of the ever-changing situation in the states threatened by the storm:

Alabama
Emergency declaration
State of Alabama Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook
Evacuation routes

Department of Transportation or call 334-242-6358

Florida
Emergency declaration
Florida Emergency Management State Emergency Response Team on Twitter, Facebook and by phone at 800-342-3557
Florida Department of Transportation on Twitter
Evacuation routes and shelter locations

Louisiana
Emergency declaration
Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency on Twitter
Evacuation routes and road information or by calling 511

Mississippi
Emergency declaration
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency on Twitter and Facebook
Evacuation routes
Twitter updates on evacuation routes as well

Department of Transportation or call 866-521-6368

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