Storm savvy Louisiana residents brace for Hurricane Isaac - FOX 32 News Chicago

Storm savvy Louisiana residents brace for Hurricane Isaac

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Hurricane Isaac will hit Louisiana head-on Tuesday. Residents fortified their properties to withstand the storm, and buckled down as the rain and wind blew in.

For a real-time, interactive look at Hurricane Isaac: MyFOXHurricane.com

Isaac may intensify to a Category 2 hurricane, making landfall by late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. Hurricane Katrina reached Category 5 status in 2005.

Many residents bought supplies in the Gulf Coast and boarded up their homes before leaving town. Hoping they will still have something to come home to.

"It's a little disheartening," one resident said. "You have a place here, you always think that the reward is worth the risk. The amount of family time and wonderful summers that we have had down here… we have had about 13 with this place since I built it. I certainly can't complain if I lost it today."

FOX's Elizabeth Prann reported that the Army Corps of Engineers piled tons of sand to reinforce the New Orleans levee system.

Some parts are still recovering from the likes of Hurricane Katrina, but some residents said after surviving that storm, they can handle Isaac.

"We should be relatively okay," one resident said. "I'm not kidding myself. I know we're going to have winds and water. But as far as Katrina's destruction, I'm knocking on wood."

Others are more cautious and have so the safety in area shelters.

Storm warnings extend across 280 miles of the Gulf Coast. From Morgan City, La. to the Florida-Alabama state line. The storm system is expected to hover over the Mississippi Delta area until around 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Isaac will hit New Orleans before moving northward and swinging right through the Mississippi River Valley. Strong showers and thunderstorms will swoop inland, with winds topping 110 mph.

Mississippi's governor said the state is taking every precaution necessary.

"We have to err on the side of caution," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "If they tell us it's a Category 2, we plan for a 3. Sixty-five mile an hour winds - we plan for 80."

The storm will have an effect on Florida, and it could possibly have effects in Texas because of its size and strength.

Governor Perry said he's been actively talking to state and local officials, keeping an eye on the coming hurricane.

The Chicago Red Cross sent 18 team members to the gulf to help residents deal with Hurricane Isaac.

The storm washed out the first day of the republican convention - but the convention is on in Tampa on Tuesday.

President Obama announced Tuesday that he declared a state of emergency for Louisiana ahead of Hurricane Isaac's head-on hit.

"I approved a disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana so they can get the help that they need right away," the president said, "particularly around some of the evacuations that are taking place."

Mr. Obama said FEMA response teams are already in place and supplies to help communities in the expected path of the storm.

The president encouraged Gulf Coast residents not to tempt fate, and to heed the direction of local emergency officials – including the order to evacuate.

"We're dealing with a big storm, and there could be significant flooding and other damage across a large area," Mr. Obama said. "Now is not the time to tempt fate. Now is not the time to dismiss official warnings. You need to take this seriously."

He thanked those who have been working around the clock to fortify communities that face the threat of storm damage and flooding.

"The hardest work is still ahead," Obama said. "As president, I'll continue to make sure that the federal government is doing everything possible to help the American people prepare for and recover from this dangerous storm."

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