15:54 29 August 2012
Tropical storm Hurricane Isaac, marked as a category one, was seen gathering in the Gulf of Mexico before making a landfall on Louisiana on Tuesday.
With top wind speeds of 80mph, Isaac has slowly moved towards New Orleans and the city is bracing itself for the storm and subsequent flooding.
Thousands of residents have fled the area, with Hurricane Katrina causing devastation only seven years earlier, although there has been no official evacuation.
Isaac was expected to make a second landfall Tuesday night and move inland in south-east Louisiana, with authorities warning it could have a harsh effect.
New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu, was quoted by The Guardian warning all residents “we're in the hunker-down phase”.
It is understood that at least 58,000 homes in New Orleans were reported to have lost power on Tuesday night.
New floodgates are in place in order to keep off any high waters, with the city centre being the furthest point below sea-level.
The gates, which came after the flooding in 2005, reach 8metres high and have been closed since Tuesday.
It is believed that New Orleans racked up a cost of $14.5bn for civil works following Katrina, as 1,800 died after the levees broke in the storm surges.
Officials told the BBC that Isaac will probably weaken before it reaches the city of New Orleans.
"We don't expect a Katrina-like event, but remember there are things about a Category 1 storm that can kill you," said Mayor Landrieu.
President Barack Obama has declared an emergency for Louisiana and Mississippi, warning residents of the Gulf Coast: "Now is not the time to dismiss official warnings. You need to take this seriously."
Warnings are in place for areas of Florida and Texas, with suspected storm surges of over 3.6metres causing concern for parts of Mississippi.
As reported by the BBC, at least 24 people have died in Haiti and the Dominican Republic as a result of Isaac already, and the Caribbean has suffered from flooding.
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