"As Isaac neared landfall, the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center issued a tornado watch from southeastern Louisiana and coastal Mississippi eastward to the Florida Panhandle through Tuesday evening."
"The tornado watch covers 11 Louisiana parishes, six Mississippi counties, three Alabama counties and seven Florida counties until 7 p.m. CDT."
"The storm is on track to make landfall along the southeastern Louisiana coast by nightfall Tuesday, confronting New Orleans with a test of a levee and pump station system that failed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Those systems have been repaired, replaced or upgraded as part of a massive $11-billion inter-agency effort led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of an ongoing $14.6-billion federal project."
"We took a lot of lessons learned from Katrina,’’ said Rene Poche of the Corps’ office in New Orleans. "We believe the system will perform as designed.’’
"The hurricane center has warned of storm surges of six to 12 feet, and rainfalls of up to 20 inches. Isaac is expected to linger, drenching low-lying areas with heavy rains and sustained winds."
Calling Isaac a "dangerous storm,’’ President Obama urged residents to evacuate if they’re asked to do so.
"Now is not the time to tempt fate,’’ the president said at the White House, stressing that flooding and other damage could be significant in southeastern Louisiana and other states along the Gulf coast.
"Now is not the time to dismiss official warnings,’’ he said.
It's not expected to hit Tampa, but it does leave the GOP convention with the "optics" issue. There is a bid concern how much this will have an undivided focus this week, especially as most think Romney has to really do something this week. Yet, it's already been chopped by Issac and upstaged.