ISAAC'S UGLY, BUT NO KATRINA

Associated Press
A man runs back from the end of a jetty as waves whipped up by Tropical Storm Isaac crash around him in Bal Harbour, Fla. Forecasters predicted Isaac would intensify into a Category 1 hurricane later Monday or Tuesday with top sustained winds of between 74 and 95 mph. The center of its projected path took Isaac directly toward New Orleans on Wednesday, but hurricane warnings extended across some 330 miles from Morgan City, La., to Destin, Fla. It could become the first hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast since 2008. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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A man runs back from the end of a jetty as waves whipped up by Tropical Storm Isaac crash around him in Bal Harbour, Fla. Forecasters predicted Isaac would intensify into a Category 1 hurricane later Monday or Tuesday with top sustained winds of between 74 and 95 mph. The center of its projected path took Isaac directly toward New Orleans on Wednesday, but hurricane warnings extended across some 330 miles from Morgan City, La., to Destin, Fla. It could become the first hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast since 2008. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Isaac is sweeping up the Gulf Coast just in time for the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans.

Tropical Storm Isaac could prove punishing but it's nowhere near as powerful as the bruiser that struck on Aug. 29, 2005.

At one point, Katrina reached Category 5 status with winds over 157 mph. It made landfall as a Category 3 with a huge storm surge. Levee failures caused catastrophic flooding.

This time, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials say the updated levees around New Orleans are equipped to handle storms stronger than Isaac. City officials had no plans to order evacuations, instead telling residents to hunker down and make do with the supplies they have.

"It's going to be all right," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Isaac promises a soaking but not much more for Tampa, Fla., where the Republican National Convention was pushed back a day just in case.

__ Kevin McGill in New Orleans

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