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AP

Much of Plaquemines Parish was still covered with floodwater Sunday and more than 200,000 people across Louisiana still didn’t have any power, five days after Isaac ravaged the state. Thousands of evacuees remained at shelters or bunked with friends or relatives.

“My family is split up,” said Angela Serpas, from severely flooded Braithwaite. Serpas and her daughter were staying with her in-laws while her husband and son were staying in Belle Chasse, a suburban area of the parish.
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NWS

Isaac is losing some of its strength and has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it trudges inland over Louisiana.

Isaac has top sustained winds of 70 mph, just below the hurricane threshold of 74 mph. The storm is about 50 miles west-southwest of New Orleans, where it is bringing drenching rains and fierce winds.

City officials are imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew in New Orleans beginning Wednesday because of the downed power lines and generally unsafe conditions.
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A strengthening Tropical Storm Isaac targeted a broad swath of the Gulf Coast on Monday and had New Orleans in its crosshairs, bearing down ahead of the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

As of 8 p.m. ET, Isaac was pushing toward the northwest at 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. The storm was centered roughly 295 miles south-southeast of Mobile, Ala. Forecasters predict the storm will become a hurricane soon, with significant storm surge and flood threat from rainfall expected along the northern Gulf coast.
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AP

With its massive size and ponderous movement, a strengthening Isaac could become a punishing rain machine depending on its power, speed and where it comes ashore along the Gulf Coast.

The focus has been on New Orleans as Isaac takes dead aim at the city seven years after Hurricane Katrina, but the impact will be felt well beyond the city limits. The storm’s winds could be felt more than 200 miles from the storm’s center.
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AP

Republicans kicked off Mitt Romney’s national convention Monday with the banging of a gavel before a smattering of delegates as Tropical Storm Isaac led them to cancel most of the opening-day program.

Party Chairman Reince Priebus pounded the gavel, cited the convention rules requiring a 2 p.m. Monday start and then immediately recessed the session. It took less than two minutes.
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AP

Tropical Storm Isaac targeted a broad swath of the Gulf Coast on Monday and had New Orleans in its crosshairs, bearing down just ahead of the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The potential for a landfall as a Category 1 hurricane as soon as Tuesday prompted evacuations along a wide area of the Gulf Coast and sent people out to stock up on staples.

“I gassed up – truck and generator”, John Corll, 59, a carpenter, said as he left a New Orleans coffee shop Monday morning. He went through Katrina in 2005 and was expecting a weaker storm this time, adding that he thinks the levee system is in better shape to handle a storm surge than when Katrina hit. “I think the state and local governments are much better prepared for the storm surge and emergencies,” Corll said.
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AP

Tropical Storm Isaac barely stirred Florida Keys residents from their fabled nonchalance Sunday, while the Gulf Coast braced for the possibility that the sprawling storm will strengthen into a dangerous hurricane by the time it makes landfall there.

It was on course to strike land on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a powerful storm that crippled New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and became a symbol of government ineptitude. Forecasters expected Isaac to pass the Keys late Sunday before turning northwest and striking as a Category 2 hurricane somewhere between New Orleans and the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday.
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ESR Hurricane HD

Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened slightly as it spun toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti, but seemed unlikely to gain enough steam early Friday to strike the island of Hispaniola as a hurricane.

The storm’s failure to gain the kind of strength in the Caribbean that forecasters initially projected made it more likely that Isaac won’t become a hurricane until it enters the Gulf of Mexico, said Eric Blake, a forecaster with U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
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