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Hurricane Isaac hits Gulf Coast, nears New Orleans

  • Hurricane Isaac has hit south eastern Louisiana and is nearing New Orleans.

    Isaac is battering coastal areas with winds of up to and is expected to reach New Orleans on the seven-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

    President Barack Obama has warned residents not to "tempt fate" and to follow evacuation warnings.

    The city has closed the new floodgates designed to protect it from flooding.

    Obama has declared an emergency in Louisiana and Mississippi, enabling federal funds to be released to local authorities.

    Isaac has already killed at least 24 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic as well as caused flooding and damage in the Caribbean.