Residents cross a street flooded by tropical storm Isaac, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
PEARL, Miss. -- Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency as officials prepare for a hit from what's now Tropical Storm Isaac.
Weather forecasters told Bryant and other state officials meeting Sunday at the state Emergency Operations Center that tropical storm winds could begin along the Mississippi coast Monday night and could last into Wednesday. National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb told Bryant on a conference call that forecasters expect Isaac to strengthen into a hurricane and drive a storm tide of 6-12 feet into coastal estuaries.
Knabb said forecasters are still having a hard time predicting where Isaac's center will make landfall. It could come ashore Wednesday morning, seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina killed more than 200 Mississippians and caused billions of dollars in damage.
More than 50,000 residents of a southeast Louisiana parish have been told to evacuate ahead of Isaac, while the governor says he is likely to skip the Republican National Convention.
St. Charles Parish officials told the parish's 53,000 residents to leave ahead of the storm. Earlier in the day, Gov. Bobby Jindal had also suggested that anyone in low-lying parts of the state's coastal parishes evacuate.
Jindal says he won't leave the state as long as it's in the storm's crosshairs. He had been scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Tuesday.
A hurricane warning was issued for parts of the state east of Morgan City, which includes the New Orleans area.
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