Is New Orleans Ready?

The storm is on the verge of becoming a hurricane before it hits the Gulf Coast.
3:00 | 08/28/12

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Transcript for Is New Orleans Ready?
Remember last week, we were talking about this might be a place we would be for this storm. And we are right along the mississippi river. You can see it behind me. There's, again, the expectation the storm surge will be a problem here. And there's about 20-feet lift before you get up to where our cameras are and our crew is standing up there. We have a little room, 9 to 12 feet expected in this storm surge area. The problem is when this storm becomes time here, and the kind of rain and flooding and wind damage they get with a storm that lasts for days, maybe a day and a half, in one location. A constant shredding. Let's show you the newest path. Here's the hurricane track. We think it will be on the same path we were talking yesterday. One of the nicest things I can tell you -- we'll talk about this. This is the enhanced, the color-enhanced picture you looked at the top of the screen. The red color at the top is the highest top of the cloud. The eyewall forms in the higher colors in the top. That means that isaac is strengthening. And in that path, it takes it up towards the gulf coast. The nicest thing about that path is to see the number 2 taken away from it. It makes me feel better. What doesn't make me feel better is the time this storm will be and the stalling of this storm, in this area. There's a lot of room for isaac to change paths and even strengthen. This morning, decision time for the nearly 4.5 million people here in louisiana. Either pack your bags and evacuate. Or sit and wait out what may soon be hurricane isaac. I think we'll be all right. Reporter: This will be the most direct test of the area's flood control since katrina. The state of louisiana, now, setting up shelters and stockpiling supplies. I'm nervous. Very nervous. Reporter: More than 1 million packaged meals. More than 1.5 million bottles of water. And 17,000 tarps for rain protection. Since new orleans levees failed seven years ago, over $14 billion has been spent on the chain of flood walls, spill gates and pumps surrounding the big easy. Along the shores of lake pontchartrain, the 11-foot-high earthen walls replaced, by 30-foot-high concrete reinforced ones. And at the 17th street canal where one of the major breeches happened in 2005, this new pumping station. During a storm surge, it's designed to pump water back into lake pontchartrain. One of several mass stations installed since katrina. We feel pretty confident about the system. It's almost not comparable to what was in place when hurricane katrina hit. We think it will perform the way we designed it. Reporter: This morning, the gulf coast is on hurricane watch. And so, it's that long-term wind, shredding wind, and flooding, flooding rain that will be a big part of the gulf coast.

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

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