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Jeff Flock: Gulf Coast braces for storm

CNN's Jeff Flock
CNN's Jeff Flock

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Galveston, Texas, officials are making contingency plans for Isidore. Affiliate KTRK reports (September 24)
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NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Tropical Storm Isidore had lost most of its punch Wednesday after battering Cuba and Mexico as a powerful hurricane, but forecasters are watching to see if the storm strengthens before making landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

CNN Correspondent Jeff Flock filed the following report from New Orleans:

JEFF FLOCK: This storm certainly could be a lot worse. It's not as powerful a storm as we thought.

A lot of rain has fallen already, and as you know, New Orleans is a town that essentially is built in a bowl, and so water draining at it right here is already a problem.

Grand Isle, one of the barrier islands not too far from here, is under mandatory evacuation. A lot of people there are boarding up their homes and businesses; a lot of people are already gone.

The reason for that is there is one road in and out of Grand Isle, and if that road goes under water, which we are told it is dangerously close to doing, you can't get in or out of the island until after the storm is gone.

While it doesn't look like an intense storm at the moment, if for some reason it were to intensify and you had made the decision to stay on Grand Isle, you're going to have to stay. You're going to have no choice -- unable to change your mind.

This is a very disorganized storm, and one of the results of that is you're going to get a lot of weather out ahead of it. The circulation of the storm is going out some 300 miles from the storm's center.

We are already seeing the effects of it here in terms of the rain -- wind [is] not so bad yet. It's not supposed to get here until Thursday. There is still a lot of boat traffic out on the Mississippi.

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