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Tropical Storm Isaac: Google launches special map with latest info

As Tropical Storm Isaac heads towards the northern Gulf Coast, the Google Crisis Response team has launched a special map providing up-to-date information on the progressing storm.

Working with the Red Cross, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and various government and NGO partners, Google’s Tropical Storm Isaac map displays the storm’s current path and provides the latest emergency information for those who need it.

The locations of shelter and recovery centers are also shown, as is information on evacuation routes and procedures. Storm-related YouTube videos will also be posted, Google said on its Lat Long blog.

“We’ll be updating this map with more information as it becomes available,” Raquel Romano of the Google Crisis Response team wrote on the blog. “We hope you find the tools and information useful.”

Isaac is currently not strong enough to be classified as a hurricane, but according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), that is expected to change soon. As of 5pm Monday, winds were reaching speeds of 70 mph – if they hit 74 mph, its classification will change to a Category 1 hurricane.

The NHC announced that a significant storm surge and flood threat from rainfall is expected along the northern Gulf Coast. David Bernard, a CBS News consultant, said as things stand the storm is heading for New Orleans, and could pack winds of up to 100 mph when it makes landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Though Isaac is not as powerful as 2005’s devastating Hurricane Katrina, many residents in New Orleans are understandably taking no chances and choosing to leave the city until the storm passes.

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