Hurricane Isaac developed near the mouth of the Mississippi River today on a path that may take it near New Orleans and bring flooding rain to the lower Mississippi Valley, the National Hurricane Center said.
With Tropical Storm Isaac forecast to reach hurricane strength today, New Orleans residents said they are concerned about flooding even with improvements to levees after a collapse during Katrina in 2005.
Oil climbed the most in a week and gasoline rose to the highest in almost four months as Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened, crimping output in the Gulf of Mexico, and a fire in Venezuela shut part of the world’s No. 2 refinery.
Tropical Storm Isaac may drop as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain on Florida as it moves into the Gulf of Mexico on a course that is expected to take the system through oil and gas fields and then onto land near the Louisiana-Mississippi line.
Four of the 125 gates at Louisiana’s Morganza floodway are open, allowing the muddy Mississippi River to pour into the Atchafalaya River basin as part of the Army Corps of Engineers strategy to save Baton Rouge and New Orleans.