Isaac Pelts Fla. Keys

Could hit anywhere from New Orleans to Panhandle
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2012 12:12 PM CDT
Updated Aug 26, 2012 6:08 PM CDT
Isaac Begins Pelting Fla. Keys
Joel Jimenez and Issac Page remove an awning outside the Tampa Convention Center for the RNC on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. Precautions were being taken ahead of Tropical Storm Isaac.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Florida is getting its first taste of Tropical Storm Isaac, with strong wind and rain pelting the Florida Keys beginning this morning as the vast 200-mile-wide storm picks up strength and moves in on the continental US. Isaac's path after the Keys is still uncertain: Forecasters warned he could strike anywhere from New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle, reports the AP. South Floridians, however, largely shrugged. "This isn't a storm," snarked one man who hadn't put up storm shutters. "It's a rain storm."

But Key West wasn't messing around, with a long line of taillights moving north, windows boarded up, and shuttered airports and businesses. A storm surge of up to 4 feet was expected, and Isaac could spawn tornadoes before picking up speed in the warmer Gulf waters. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency and is ducking out of the scaled-back Republican National Convention in Tampa. Isaac is expected to be a forceful Category 2 hurricane when it reaches the Gulf Coast Tuesday or Wednesday, the AP reports. Follow its path here. (More Tropical Storm Isaac stories.)

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