Forecasters say a hurricane watch has been extended to include the New Orleans metro area as Tropical Storm Isaac makes its way toward the Florida Keys.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday morning that the watch area now stretches from east of Morgan City, La., to the Florida Panhandle.
Forecasters have said that Isaac could be a dangerous Category 2 hurricane by the time it makes landfall over the northern Gulf Coast. That is expected to happen sometime late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
MIAMI — Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches the state.
Scott said the goal was to make sure every local, state and federal agency "has the exact same information" on the storm and preparations in order to make informed decisions. He issued the state of emergency Saturday during a media briefing in Broward County.
Unemployment rates fell from June to July in 62 of Louisiana's 64 parishes, according to figures released Friday.
Lafourche Parish has the lowest jobless rate at 5.2 percent. East Carroll Parish's 20 percent rate is the highest. Only Concordia and Franklin parishes saw increases.
The oil-fueled Houma metro area, with 5.4 percent unemployment, is lowest among Louisiana's eight urban areas. Joblessness in metro New Orleans fell to 8.1 percent from 8.7 percent in June. In metro Baton Rouge, it fell to 8 percent from 8.7 percent.
State health officials confirm three more people have died from West Nile virus, bringing the total to nine so far this year.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals also said Friday that 53 new human cases of the virus have been confirmed and mark 145 reported infections so far in 2012 — the highest number of cases the state has seen in the past several years.