Hurricane Isaac Hits Gulf Coast As Republican National Convention Tries To Proceed

The Republican National Convention proceeds with plans as the nation's attention shifts to Hurricane Isaac hitting the Gulf Coast with New Orleans in its path. INSIDE EDITION reports from Tampa and New Orleans.

New Orleans is a ghost town today.

The world-famous French Quarter is without a soul in sight as residents along the Gulf Coast hold their breath. INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd is there.

"The wind is accelerating, the rain is intesifying and the waves are crashing ashore on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans. The question now is, what will happen in terms of flooding and how will it compare to what happened when Hurricane Katrina roared ashore," said Boyd.

President Obama went on national TV to warn residents about the danger of Hurricane Isaac.

"Now's not the time to tempt fate. Now's not the time to dismiss official warnings. You need to take this seriously," said President Obama.

Isaac, now a Category 1, is expected to plough into the Gulf Coast seven years to the day of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Today, we went back to some of the New Orleans locations that shocked the nation seven years ago.

Preparations are underway at the New Orleans Superdome, which was best be described as a hellhole where thousands of people tried to take refuge from Hurricane Katrina.

Remember, back in 2005, the area was completely flooded as you entered the Superdome. The levee system has been vastly improved since that time and the expectation is that the area isn't going to flood, but we have to wait and see.  

No one is taking chances. The New Orleans home of actor John Goodman is boarded-up, and the shuttered home of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is locked up tight.  

The storm is still having a major impact on the Republican National Convention in Tampa. INSIDE EDITION's Lisa Guererro reports from Tampa.

"At the Tampa Convention Center, Republicans are hoping that Isaac doesn't ruin their party. This has become a hard luck convention. The first day was cancelled, and now cable and network news operations have shifted their resources from the convention to covering the storm hitting the Gulf Coast," said Guererro.

CNN's Anderson Cooper and Fox News' Shepard Smith have left Tampa and are broadcasting from the Gulf Coast. INSIDE EDITION spoke to CBS News Vice President Chris Licht about the focus of national attention shifting from the Republican convention to Hurricane Isaac.

Licht said, "We have always been built for speed and built to be able to go and do things, but logistically, you have to re-calibrate the way you do everything."

As Republicans finally get down to the business of officially nominating Mitt Romney, the latest Gallup Poll alreayd shows a bounce, with Romney taking the lead 47 percent to 46 percent for President Obama.

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh wonders if President Obama is trying to use Hurricane Isaac to divert attention away from the Republican convention.

Limbaugh said on his radio show, "I can see Obama sending FEMA in, in advance of the Hurricane hitting Tampa so that the Republican convention is nothing but a bunch of tents."