The ninth named storm of this year's hurricane season hasreached hurricane status, with reports now indicating a high riskof flood surge as it approaches the Gulf Coast.

Forecasters say there is uncertainty as to how strong Isaac willbecome. Most prognosticators say Isaac, now about 200 miles southof Biloxi, Miss., will stay a Category 1hurricane with sustained winds between 74 mph and 95 mph.

But Isaac will have plenty of time to intensify over the warmwater of the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall,says National Hurricane Center (NHC) Director RickKnabb in a podcast. Warm water is conducive to hurricanestrengthening.

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