U.S. President Barack Obama on
Tuesday warned residents alongside the Gulf Coast of significant
flooding and other potential damage as Tropical Storm Isaac was
gaining strength to a hurricane and would impact the region
devastated nearly seven years ago by Hurricane Katrina.
"As we prepare for Isaac to hit, I want to encourage all residents of the Gulf Coast to listen to your local officials and follow their directions, including if they tell you to evacuate," said Obama in brief remarks at the White House.
"Now it is not the time to tempt fate. Now is not the time to dismiss official warnings," said Obama, before he departed for a two- day campaign trip.
Obama said the federal government have already sent response teams and supplies to help communities in the expected path of Isaac, and "is doing everything possible" to help prepare for and recover from the dangerous storm. Obama on Monday afternoon signed an emergency declaration for Louisiana, the only state that has requested one. The declaration makes federal funding to the state available immediately.
However, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on Monday sent a letter to Obama, saying the federal government was not doing enough to help the state cover all the expenses against Isaac.
He noted the state's expenditures for emergency protective measures had reached 8 million dollars and exceeded the state's threshold before making a request for a major disaster declaration.
Obama's Tuesday briefing is also seen as a balance between a role of federal government in disaster preparation and his own tight campaign schedule. The Bush administration has been widely criticized, including Obama, for its handling of Hurricane Katrina.
As it was earlier announced, Obama will not give up an unusual try to upstage his rival Mitt Romney's formal nomination by his party by launching campaigns in key battleground swing states. The sitting Democratic president targets his two-day campaign efforts in Iowa, Colorado and Virginia while Republican National Convention is currently held in Tampa, Florida.
"We know this is a close election and we need to compete for every vote that we can compete for," said Obama campaign spokesperson Jennifer Psaki.
Presidential candidates usually would stand down during their opposing party's political convention.
Hurricane warnings have been issued along the northern Gulf Coast. Forecasters said Isaac, which gained strength to a hurricane by midday Tuesday, was expected to hit the northern Gulf Coast late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
The southern U.S. states of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are on high alert against the threat of Isaac. Thousands of residents living in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Monday were told to evacuate their coastal homes because of Hurricane Isaac.
The states of Florida, Louisiana and Alabama have already declared states of emergency by themselves over the weekend, for fear that Isaac might repeat the disaster that Hurricane Katrina brought to the Gulf coast just seven years ago.
Wednesday marks the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in Aug. 29, 2005. According to the National Weather Service, New Orleans is also in the projected path that Isaac could cut through.
"That brings a high level of anxiety to the people of New Orleans." said Mayor Mitch Landrieu in Monday afternoon, yet stressing everything is still within the capability of handling.
Most Popular Stories
- SEO Traffic Lab Celebrate Wins at Digital Marketing Event 'Internet World 2013' in London
- Social Media Initiatives Should Follow Customers' Lead
- Apple CEO: Offshore Units Not a 'Tax Gimmick'
- U.S. Senate Accuses Apple of Large-scale Tax Avoidance
- UTEP Water Recycling Project Wins Venture Titles
- Marketo Makes a Mint in IPO: Stock Shoots Up More than 50 Percent
- Bieber Booed at Billboard Awards
- Crude Oil Up, Gasoline Down
- Austin Startup Compare Metrics Raises $3.5 Million for Expansion
- Why So Many Top 'Car Guys' Are Actually Women