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Hurricane Isaac slows, sucking up energy over the Gulf (+video)

Hurricane Isaac is crawling along at 10 m.p.h., and winds hit 75 m.p.h. as Isaac gained strength moving over the warm, open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Isaac is forecast to reach New Orleans early Wednesday morning.

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Now it's Hurricane Isaac. The storm turned into a full-blown Category 1 hurricane Tuesday as it rolled over the Gulf of Mexico toward Louisiana, where residents in four states left boarded-up homes and New Orleans waited behind flood-defense levees strengthened after the devastating Katrina struck exactly seven years ago.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm, with 75 mph (120 kph) winds, had gained strength as it moved over the warm, open waters of the gulf. It was expected to reach the swampy coast of southeast Louisiana by early Wednesday.

The focus has been on New Orleans as the massive, slow-moving storm takes aim at the city, but the impact will be felt well beyond the city limits, especially in expected storm surges of up to 12 feet (3.6 meters) in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The storm's winds could be felt more than 200 miles (320 kilometers) from the storm's center.

RECOMMENDED: 5 ways you can prepare for a hurricane


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