NEW ORLEANS, LA (WDSU) — Officials in Orleans and Jefferson parishes declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the effects of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Jefferson Parish Emergency Management officials said they were closely monitoring Isaac as it takes aim at the coast. The National Weather Service reports Isaac continues to strengthen and likely will continue a westward track in the Gulf of Mexico.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he declared a state of emergency ahead of Isaac to give residents ample time to prepare.
"It is really important that we as a regions stay together and stay focused," Landrieu said. "Now is the time to get, what we call, in a battle rhythm. I have signed an emergency order today, declaring a state of emergency so that everybody in the city of New Orleans can begin to prepare."
Landrieu said that while anxiety may be high, not to panic. "A heightened state of alertness is a good thing," he said.
A Hurricane Watch currently is in effect for all areas of Southeast Louisiana, including areas of upper and lower Jefferson Parish.
All residents are reminded to prepare families, homes and property for this weather event.
The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West will begin closing non-essential flood gates on the West Bank in anticipation of strong southerly winds and high tides associated with Tropical Storm Isaac. This is the first step in a process that will ensure implementation of the Authority’s flood protection program. As the storm progresses, there will be additional closures as the Flood Authority works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Keep updated with information for the Orleans Parish areas through WDSU, the NBC affiliate  in New Orleans.