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President Barack Obama's comments on Tropical Storm Isaac:

'This storm isn't scheduled to make landfall until later today. At my direction FEMA has been on the ground for over a week working with state and local officials in areas that could be affected, from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida and more recently Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

'Yesterday I approved a disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana so they can get the help they need right away, particularly around some of the evacuations that are taking place. Right now we already have response teams and supplies ready to help communities in the expected path of the storm.

'As we prepare for Isaac 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 to evacuate. 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.

'Finally, I want to thank everyone who has been working around the clock to get ready for Isaac. The hardest work, of course, is still ahead. As President I'll 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.

'As we get additional updates from the Hurricane Center as well as from FEMA in terms of activities on the ground, we'll be providing continuous updates both on the local and national level.'

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