MIAMI (AP) -- Forecasters say Isaac is on the verge of becoming a hurricane as it bears down on the northern Gulf Coast.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said at 5 a.m. EDT on Tuesday that Isaac was still a tropical storm but was likely to become a hurricane during the day as it gained strength over the Gulf of Mexico.
Isaac is expected to make landfall over southeastern Louisiana, possibly the New Orleans area, either late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
The center of the storm was located about 125 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It has top sustained winds of 70 mph and is moving to the northwest at 12 mph.
Experts say the next 24 hours should provide a clearer picture about the impact of Tropical Storm Isaac, which was just below hurricane force late Monday night.
The storm's winds could be felt more than 200 miles from the storm's center, which is on a track toward Louisiana and is expected to make landfall on the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Residents in Mississippi are also keeping a watchful eye, including those in Bay St. Louis, which was a community 10News covered heavily after Katrina devastated it.
Check out our Tracking the Tropics page for the latest on Isaac
10News reporter Jenny Meckles is reporting from Bay St. Louis as people prepare for the worst. Click the videos to see her stories.