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Isaac is not expected to grow beyond a Category 1 hurricane and that is easing some concerns it could damage oil and gas refineries along the Gulf Coast. Still, several have shut down operations and will probably be offline for a couple days. Depending on Isaac's severity, analysts say gas prices could go up by about 10 cents or so in the coming weeks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
The St. Charles Parish President has called for a mandatory evacuation effective at 6 p.m. Sunday for all residents in St. Charles Parish due to Tropical Storm Isaac.
What does this mean? It means that conditions from Hurricane Isaac will be such that widespread damage and flooding are possible. It also means that vital services such as food stores, fuel and medical services may be unavailable for an indefinite period. Accordingly, residents are strongly advised to seek shelter outside of St. Charles Parish.
Washington Parish President Richard Thomas has asked the Red Cross to assist in opening shelters in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac's landfall, the parish said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
Shelters will open at 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, the parish said, and remain open until the inclement weather subsides.
The shelters are safe havens only, the parish said, and do not have backup electricity. Residents are urged to bring necessities such as bedding, toiletries and medications with them.
The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will cease operation at the end of today, and remain closed until at least Wednesday, officials said in a press release.
No flights are scheduled for Tuesday, August 28.
Airport officials also reiterated that the facility is not an evacuation shelter, and people will not be permitted to remain in the terminal during the storm. Parking garages are also restricted to ticketed passengers only, and travelers should be prepared to show a printed boarding pass or itinerary in order to enter Airport property.
Utility crews are surveying the power lines and thousands of utility workers from other states are on standby, as Louisiana power companies readied for Tropical Storm Isaac.
Fresh in minds around the state's capital city was Hurricane Gustav, which struck as a Category 2 storm in 2008 — and surprised Baton Rouge with power outages that lasted 10 days or more in many areas.
Public Service Commissioner Jimmy Field, who represents the Baton Rouge area, says he's confident power companies are ready for Isaac, expected to strike as a hurricane.