Residents along the Gulf Coast are bracing for Hurricane Isaac, which is expected to hit landfall late Tuesday night. Isaac was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28, when wind speeds increased to 75 mph.
National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb said that Hurricane Isaac is “a large hurricane” and will impact a large area of the coastline.
“The hurricane has a little bit of an opportunity to strengthen,” Knabb, who has a Ph.D. in meteorology, said in an audio address on Tuesday. “I would focus even more on the fact that this is a large hurricane. The size of it means the storm surge and the rainfall can both produce flooding that are probably going to be the biggest story out of this system.”
He said storm surge flooding predictions are for 6 to 12 feet above ground level in parts of Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana.
“The storm surge, the inland flooding, the strong winds and the tornadoes are all hazards we have to contend with as this large system moves very slowly inland over the next few days,” Knabb said.
The NHC has also issued an advisory regarding Tropical Storm Ileana, which is moving over open waters about 415 miles west, southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.
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:
State of Alabama Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook
Department of Transportation or call 334-242-6358
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
Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency on Twitter
Evacuation routes and road information or by calling 511
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency on Twitter and Facebook
Twitter updates on evacuation routes as well
Department of Transportation or call 866-521-6368
In a press release on Tuesday, Sirius XM Radio announced that “The Weather Channel” will be airing around the clock on Sirius Channel 184 and XM Channel 1 to help those in Hurricane Isaac’s path prepare for the storm. Truckers can also tune in to SiriusXM’s “Road Dog Channel” 106 for information on highway closures and weather.
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