Obama declares Louisiana emergency as Tropical Storm Isaac nears

  • President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in the state of Louisiana, as Tropical Storm Isaac threatens to hit the US as a category two hurricane.

    Isaac could hit New Orleans possibly as early as Tuesday night, just a day before the seven-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

    Isaac killed at least 20 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

    On Monday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) revised up from category one strength with top winds predicted to reach 100m100 miles per hour. 

    Obama approved Louisiana's request for a federal disaster declaration, enabling the use of federal funds for recovery activities such as clearing debris.

    U.S. offshore oil production is likely to be badly affected as well as the refineries in lowland Louisiana.

    BP and Chevron have already shut down oil production in the Gulf while BP is evacuating its platform there.

    Earlier, the governors of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama declared emergencies in their states.