Tropical storm Isaac nears the United States

By MSN UK News Reuters
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Tropical storm Isaac closes in on New Orleans on the seven-year anniversary of hurricane Katrina

Hurricane-strength winds and driving rain are nearing the coast of the United States as tropical storm Isaac continues its progress across the Gulf of Mexico. After lashing southern Florida, Isaac is heading towards the northern Gulf Coast, threatening New Orleans seven years after Hurricane Katrina hit. Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama have declared emergencies. This combination of National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite images shows Tropical Storm Isaac (top) on 27 August 27 and Hurricane Katrina (bottom) on 28 August 2005. Click through for more.

Reuters/Sean Gardner
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New Orleans prepares for Isaac's arrival

A hand-written sign on the door at the New Orleans City Hall informs locals that the office is closed in preparation for Tropical Storm Issac.

Reuters/Lee Celano
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Sandbags at the ready

Louisiana resident Jonathan Sellers loads sandbags with his relatives at a local government sandbag distribution point.

Reuters/Sean Gardner
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Shops are boarded up

Local business owners in New Orleans have followed the same actions as the local authorities and residents in boarding up their properties in readiness for Tropical Storm Isaac, which is expected to become a category two hurricane before striking the city.

Reuters/Eric Thayer
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Republican convention delayed

Empty seats are seen at the Republican convention in Tampa. The start of the convention was delayed because of the threat posed by Isaac.

Reuters/Lee Celano
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Locals fuel up before leaving

As residents evacuate the area under threat from Tropical Storm Isaac, most will have filled up their cars before leaving. This plastic bag over a fuel pump signifies that this petrol station is out of fuel.

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New Orleans and other coastal cities threatened

This satellite image was taken on Monday 27 August.

REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity
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Taking shelter

An unidentified woman leaves a pier in high wind and rough surf as tropical storm Isaac moves over south Florida. The Republican Party has delayed the start of its national convention in Tampa, which is to formally nominate Mitt Romney for president. The Republican governors of Alabama and Louisiana have already cancelled their trips to the convention to focus on tackling the storm.

REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa
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Cuba is battered

Tourists talks as waves crash on Havana's seafront boulevard on Sunday 26 August. The island suffered severe flooding and fallen power lines.

AP Photo/Alan Diaz
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Life goes on

A person walks by a sign warning about Hurricane Isaac in Key West, Florida.

AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa
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The storm arrives

Waves pound the boardwalk known as the Malecon in Havana, Cuba, as tropical storm Isaac passes over the island.

AP Photo, Ricardo Arduengo
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Dodging the waves

A man runs away from a wave approaching the Dominican province of Barahona. Tropical storm Isaac hit the Dominican Republic at the weekend. Three people were reported as missing, including the mayor of a town near Santo Domingo who was later confirmed dead.

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A woman wades through floodwaters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. A girl of 10 died when a wall fell on her in the city. The British aid charity Oxfam said it knew of three other deaths.

AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa
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Men lie behind a seawall as waves brought by tropical storm Isaac splash over them in Baracoa, Cuba.

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Salvaging possessions

A woman tries to recover her personal possessions from her flattened home in a camp for displaced people in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The country is still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake. Many of the 400,000 people still living in tent cities had to endure the storm under canvas.

REUTERS/Ricardo Rojas
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Taking shelter

A family sits in their porch after winds from tropical storm Isaac brought a tree down, hitting the corner of their house, in El Habanero, Barahona province in the Dominican Republic.

AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo
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A trail of devastation

People run over a bridge covered by debris from tropical storm Isaac in Barahona in the Dominican Republic.

REUTERS/NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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The view from space

Tropical storm Isaac is seen in this Nasa satellite image taken on Friday 24 August.

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The wind picks up

A boy flies his kite in the strengthening winds at a camp for displaced people of the 2010 earthquake in Port au Prince, Haiti.

AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa
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Making preparations

Soldiers and civilians unload bed frames to a shelter as they prepare for the arrival of tropical storm Isaac in Siboney, Cuba.

AP Photo/Manuel Diaz
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Battling the waves

A surfers swim out to sea at Manresa beach as tropical storm Isaac approaches Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.