Tropical Storm Isaac is on the verge of becoming a hurricane as it swirls through the Gulf of Mexico toward the mouth of the Mississippi River.
At 4 a.m. Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center reported the storm will strengthen and the center will be near or over the Louisiana coast by night or by early Wednesday.
The storm was about 205 miles south-southeast of Biloxi with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and a forward movement northwest at 12 mph.
The center was located at 27.5N 88.1W.
The storm is expected to gradually intensify, bringing heavy rainfall and storm surge that will combine with the tide to cause coastal areas to be flooded by rising waters.
Tropical force winds extend outward for up to 205 miles.
Isaac is expected to produce 6 to 12 inches of rainfall, and up to 18 inches in some areas.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to move into the Mississippi Coast in the early morning hours.
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