Many of the residents that live outside the city’s levee system have been advised to leave as quickly as possible, although road closures are making travel extremely difficult. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal announced that 41 parishes had declared emergencies, and seven were at least partially evacuated.

The category one storm has a slow speed of 10mph, which means that the storm could rage through some areas of New Orleans for up to 10 hours.

Billy Nungesser, the president of Plaquemines Parish on the coast south-east of New Orleans told WWLTV that the degree of damage to his house was comparable to that done by Hurricane Katrina, which was almost exactly 7 years earlier.

“Water has blown through the sockets in my back wall; that only happened in Katrina. My whole roof is leaking. I didn’t get that kind of damage from anything but Katrina – [Isaac] seems a lot more than a category one,” he said.

New Orleans is now much better prepared to deal with extreme weather – Detroit Free Press reported that the city has stronger evacuation and rescue plans, bolstered by the US Army Corps of Engineer’s $14 billion revamp of the 350 miles of levees and floodwalls.

However, President Barack Obama signed emergency declarations and reminded citizens that they should still take every precaution.”We’re dealing with a big storm and there could be significant flooding and other damage across a large area. Now is not the time to tempt fate. Now is not the time to dismiss warnings,” he said.