Aug. 24 - Residents of the Dominican Republic brace as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches, lashing the Caribbean nation with rain and strong winds. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened as it took aim at the Dominican Republic on Friday (Aug. 24) but is not expected to become a hurricane until it churns into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico early next week. On its current path, forecasters said the storm will sweep over Haiti, and hit Cuba and the southern tip of Florida before possibly making landfall anywhere from the Florida Panhandle or Alabama to as far west as New Orleans. The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) has had a tough time projecting the exact track and long-term intensity of the large and poorly organized storm, which has drawn close scrutiny because the Republican Party's presidential nominating convention begins on Monday (Aug. 27) in Tampa on Florida's Gulf coast. The NHC is no longer forecasting Isaac to rev up to hurricane force until long after it crosses Haiti, where thousands of people are still living in tents and makeshift shelters after a devastating earthquake more than 2-1/2 years ago. Isaac's projected track has drifted westward since Thursday, potentially increasing the storm's threat to U.S. energy interests in the Gulf of Mexico.