CNN's Erin Burnett and Wolf Blitzer talks to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu about his city's preparation for tropical storm Isaac.
Isaac now a hurricane as it closes in on Gulf Coast
Isaac reached hurricane status Tuesday as it closed it on the Gulf Coast, threatening to deluge parts of the region with huge amounts of rain.
Maximum sustained winds were at 75 miles per hour, just strong enough to give the storm hurricane status, as of 11:20 a.m. CT, the National Hurricane Center said.
It could make landfall by evening, the center said.
"Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast by late afternoon," and the storm's center "should reach the coastline of southeastern Louisiana as early as this evening," forecasters said.
In New Orleans, the Army Corps of Engineers told CNN it was closing the gate to the West Closure Complex, one of the world's largest pump stations, capable of pumping storm water at 20,000 cubic feet per second.