PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — North Shore Animal League says it’s heading down to Mississippi to help shelters evacuating animals as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches.
The potential for a landfall as a Category 1 hurricane as soon as Tuesday has prompted evacuations along a wide area of the Gulf Coast.
On its website, North Shore said they are going down to Miss. to help rescue homeless animals being evacuated ahead of the storm.
This is the second time this month that North Shore has rescued animals from Miss. that were impacted by severe weather.
More than 60 dogs were brough to North Shore’s shelter in Port Washington from the St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in Tylertown, Miss. after a possible tornado touched down in the area, destroying and damaging buildings at the shelter.
Isaac, meanwhile, blew past the Florida Keys and was rolling northwestward over the open Gulf of Mexico on Monday.
The National Hurricane Center predicted it would grow to a hurricane with winds of between 74 and 95 mph over the warm water and possibly hit sometime Tuesday somewhere along a roughly 300-mile stretch from the bayous southwest of New Orleans to the edge of the Florida Panhandle.
Isaac could pack a watery double punch for the Gulf Coast. If it hits during high tide, Isaac could push floodwaters as deep as 12 feet onto shore in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and up to six feet in the Florida Panhandle, while dumping up to 18 inches of rain over the region, the National Weather Service warned.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called a state of emergency, and 53,000 residents of St. Charles Parish near New Orleans were told to leave ahead of the storm. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley also declared states of emergency.
The oncoming storm stopped work on rigs that account for 24 percent of daily oil production in the U.S. potion of the Gulf of Mexico and eight percent of daily natural gas production there, the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in its latest update Sunday.
The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 23 percent of total U.S. crude oil production, 7 percent of the nation’s natural gas and more than 40 percent of refining capacity.
Several regional governors altered their plans for this week’s GOP convention in Tampa. Bentley has canceled his trip, and Jindal said he’s likely to do so unless the threat from the storm subsides. Scott gave up a chance to speak.
Even though the storm was moving well west of Tampa, tropical storm-force winds and heavy rains were possible in the area because of Isaac’s large size, forecasters said.
Before reaching Florida, Isaac was blamed for eight deaths in Haiti and two more in the Dominican Republic, and downed trees and power lines in Cuba.
(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)