Picture: Daily News
A woman swims through flood waters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Picture: Logan Abassi/MINUSTAH Source: AP
Tropical Storm Isaac is gaining strength as it heads for the Gulf of Mexico and New Orleans, with the National Hurricane Centre expecting the storm to reach hurricane strength within the next 24 hours.
At the time of publishing, TS Isaac was positioned approximately 370 kilometres south east of the mouth of the Mississippi River and was sustaining maximum winds of 110 kilometres per hour.
A hurricane warning is currently in effect from the Alabama/Florida border to east of Morgan City Louisiana, an area incorporating New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.
Almost five million people live in this region with CBS News reporting that President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency in Louisiana as the region prepares for Isaac.
New Orleans is bracing for the storm that is not only heading on the same path as Katrina did seven years ago, but is expected to make landfall on the anniversary of the hurricane that obliterated the city.
The centre of Isaac is expected to move over the central Gulf of Mexico before heading to the coast of southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi in the next 24 hours with the possibility of up to 12 feet of water if the peak surge occurs during high tide.
Isolated tornadoes have also been predicted across west-central and northwestern Florida over the next 12 hours before hitting the region along the northern Gulf Coast.
Floridas cruise ports have now reopened following the closure of Tampa, Port of Miami and Port Everglades over the weekend due to the storm.
Additional cruise ship diversions have now been announced as follows:
Passengers who were scheduled to embark in New Orleans have been asked to fly to Memphis for embarkation on 30 August instead.
A sea day will replace an originally scheduled call into Cozumel, Mexico on Tuesday with Grand Cayman visited instead of Belize on Wednesday.
Cozumel will then replace Grand Cayman on Friday before ending as scheduled in Tampa on 3 September.
Freeport, Bahamas has been replaced with a sea day on Monday with the original two-day call to Nassau on Tuesday and Wednesday shortened to allow a visit to Freeport on Wednesday instead.
Click here to view additional ship diversions due to TS Isaac.
The death toll in Haiti as a result of TS Isaac has now risen to 19 people.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.A