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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said about 1,000 National Guard troops are positioned in New Orleans, working with police, firefighters and standing by for rescue operations.
At a news conference held Tuesday night just minutes after forecasters said Hurricane Isaac had made landfall in Plaquemines Parish, Landrieu said the city is expecting a lot of rain and wind.
"Now is the time to hunker down. Now is the time to be smart," Landrieu told residents.
Isaac was moving toward the northwest and was expected to expose the city to its nastiest weather.
"Your city is secure," he told residents, while advising them to use "common sense" in their final preparations.
Landrieu said more than 2,900 federal, state and local law enforcement officers are on duty in the city.
The mayor said reports were coming in of downed trees and power outages.
But he expressed frustration with people who were romping through water coming over the seawall and pilling up along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. "We had some knuckleheads testing the water," Landrieu said.
He said police were "polite" in chasing them. The lakefront has been closed because water is piling up against a levee that protects a residential neighborhood.
Landrieu said all floodgates had been closed and there were no reports of levee problems.
For New Orleans, Isaac represented the second hurricane threat since Hurricane Katrina struck on Aug. 29, 2005. The storm was expected to be passing the city on the anniversary, ironically near the same time of day that the levees broke.
New Orleans has regained much of its population since residents dispersed after levee breaks poured water into 80 percent of the city during Katrina.
Landrieu, a Democrat, succeeded Ray Nagin as mayor. Nagin oversaw the city's first few years of recovery but his leadership style was widely criticized.
Landrieu, a former lieutenant governor of Louisiana, is the son of former Mayor Moon Landrieu. His sister is U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.