Isaac crossing Gulf with New Orleans in crosshairs

(National Hurricane Center)
(National Hurricane Center)

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - Tropical Storm Isaac is targeting a broad swath of the Gulf Coast and has New Orleans in its crosshairs. It's bearing down just ahead of the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The potential for a landfall as soon as Tuesday has prompted evacuations along a wide area of the Gulf Coast and sent people out to stock up on staples.

The National Hurricane Center predicts Isaac will grow to a Category 1 hurricane over the warm water of the Gulf and possibly hit late Tuesday somewhere along a roughly 300-mile stretch from the bayous southwest of New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle.

That would be one day shy of seven years after Katrina struck in 2005, although Katrina was a much stronger Category 5 storm.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)