NEW ORLEANS — Tropical Storm Isaac is raising serious concerns in Louisiana.
Hurricane warnings are posted from the New Orleans area to the Florida Panhandle. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared a state of emergency on Sunday.
A mandatory evacuation order was issued for St. Charles Parish west of New Orleans on Sunday evening.
Earlier, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called for voluntary evacuations in 15 low-lying areas that are likely to see flooding, and he cautioned that voluntary evacuations could become mandatory within hours.
"If parishes are going to call for mandatory evacuations, you don't want to wait much longer than that," the governor said. "So today, I'm strongly advising folks to evacuate. I would anticipate some of those areas would be mandatory no later than tomorrow morning's briefing."
Forecasters expect Isaac to strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds between 96 and 110 mph after it enters the Gulf of Mexico, with landfall on Wednesday — the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.