Obama on Tropical Storm Isaac: 'Now is Not the Time to Tempt Fate'

The president urges Gulf Coast residents to listen to local officials.
3:00 | 08/28/12

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Transcript for Obama on Tropical Storm Isaac: 'Now is Not the Time to Tempt Fate'
This is NB BC news special report. Good morning everyone alongside Josh Elliott I'm Robin Roberts and we -- stay in Times Square -- interrupting their regular programming and some parts of the country. I just for a statement from President Obama on tropical storm -- -- he'd experience right now the president of the United States. And doctor -- -- the director of the national hurricane center on preparations that are under way in the gulf. The storm isn't scheduled to make landfall until later today but at my direction FEMA has been on the ground for over a week. Working with state and local officials in areas that could be effective. From Puerto Rico US Virgin Islands to Florida. And more recently. Louisiana Alabama and Mississippi. Yesterday -- proved a disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana so they can. Get the help that they need it right away particularly around some of evacuations. That are taking place. And right now -- -- have response teams and supplies ready to help communities in the expected path of the storm. As we prepare. -- -- to hit. I want to encourage all residents of the Gulf Coast. To listen to your local officials and follow their directions including. If they tell you -- -- accurate. We're dealing with a big storm and there could be significant flooding and other damage across. A large area. Now's not the time to tempt fate now's not the time to dismiss. Official warnings. You need to take this seriously. And finally I want to thank everyone who has been working round the clock to get ready for -- The hardest work of course is still ahead. And as president -- continue to make sure that the federal government is doing everything possible to help the American people prepare for and recover from. This dangerous storm. Ahead as we get additional updates from the hurricane -- As well as from FEMA in terms of activities on the ground will be provided continuous updates -- that -- local. And the national -- thank you. Again that was the president speaking about the plans as tropical storm. Isaac makes its way toward the Gulf Coast expected as he said to make landfall later today we want to bring any BC political -- now Matthew Dowd. And Matthew if nothing if not interest -- timing for the president again. The storm expected to make landfall later today just as the convention at least unofficially. Gets going down there -- in Tampa so how is the party adjusting their -- in Tampa with what will be. If nothing else of very wary large part of the country watching -- shores. -- Josh interesting timing I think for both sides of the -- on this not only the Republicans here but actually for the president its interest thing. Both sides have learned from what happened with Katrina when it was mishandled and the president at the time who I was working for was caught flat footed. And I think what President Obama just -- was when he wanted to show that he was aware. That he was on cast committee was in charge and I think that's hasn't been important -- since Katrina. For our leader to do that I think the Republicans now have to be careful of the town they use in the course of this -- as we talked about the dual screens of what's happening. In New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast and I think that -- has to be much more about. Mitt Romney and much more positive than they otherwise might have used. And much less about an attack on President Obama in the middle of this and so I think both sides actually have learned a big lesson from Katrina. ABC news political analyst Matthew Dowd will be -- much more from you today here on ABC thanks for that so let's go back now to Sam Champion is there and. -- -- -- so what's the latest you can tell us about I think Sam. For Robin good morning again -- let's take a look at what the -- field will be because correctly described by many on this storm it's not just the coastal impact that could be as early as tonight. But for days and days of very heavy flooding rain that will extend. All the way unbelievably west as far as west of Dallas as far north as Saint Louis and may be beyond at Atlanta and Charleston all in this tropical moisture -- for days. Very heavy flooding rain Robin. All right -- since thank you very much in. This has -- a special. BC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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