Tropical storm Isaac triggers state of emergency in Louisiana

28 August 2012 04:27  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--US President Barack Obama late on Monday declared a state of emergency for Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Isaac, which will likely strengthen into a hurricane before landfall by Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said.

“President Obama signed a pre-disaster emergency declaration for the State of Louisiana due to Tropical Storm Isaac, making available federal support to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety in coastal parishes,” FEMA said.

At 11:00 hours Singapore time (03:00 GMT), its centre was about 190 miles (305 km) southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi river, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was travelling northwest at about 10 miles/hour.

Isaac is expected to be a hurricane soon with significant storm surge and flood threat from rainfall expected along the northern gulf coast, the center said in its latest update.

The storm will intensify into a Category 2 hurricane, with winds of about 100 miles/hour, by early Wednesday around the time it's expected to make landfall, according to the forecasters.

“The current forecast track has the centre of Isaac reaching the mouth of the Mississippi River late afternoon on Tuesday, August 28, and in the vicinity of New Orleans Wednesday morning, said catastrophe risk modelling and consulting firm EQECAT.

“Because of its broad size, Isaac poses a significant storm surge threat to the northern Gulf Coast. Should it occur during the time of high tide, a surge of 6 to 12 feet is possible in southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama,” it added.

Several chemical plants and refineries are planning to shut their production units in advance of Isaac’s arrival.

In the Gulf of Mexico, evacuations have occurred at several oil and natural gas platforms. As such, 78.02% of the daily oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in.

Hurricanes can disrupt the North American petrochemical industry, since oil and gas production is concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico and much of the country's refineries and petrochemical plants are on the US Gulf coast.

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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