The full force of Isaac has arrived in Louisiana after the hurricane made landfall in the state's south-east.
Isaac, which reached hurricane strength earlier Tuesday, was packing maximum sustained winds of 80mph when it crossed the coast at Plaquemines Parish, about 90 miles south east of New Orleans.
The category one storm remained on course to hit New Orleans, seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.
While not as powerful as Katrina, Isaac threatens to flood the coasts of four states with a potentially deadly storm surge, torrential rain and high winds.
Officials say they are confident that improvements to water defences in New Orleans will prevent a repeat of the 2005 Katrina catastrophe.
But despite no mandatory evacuation order being issued for the city, many people have decided to seek safety elsewhere.
"It is kind of eerie here to see nobody around," Zach told me.
"From what I understand, after Katrina people just don't risk it, especially families, they just leave."
He was having dinner at one of the few places to remain open – a steak and lobster restaurant in the historic French quarter of New Orleans, which hosted stranded tourists and locals looking for a drink.
Owner Amer Bader said: "I think it is fun to be here and the most important thing is that this is the safest place in New Orleans. The hurricane is going to be just fine."
People in some parts of Louisiana have been told to leave their homes. A shelter in Belle Chasse is now home to many.
Rachel Peoples said: "I'm living in an old trailer, not a new one, and I just hope and pray that the storm doesn't take it."
Another resident, Avanel Terrance said: "They say it is a category one so I am not too worried as much as I was during Katrina but we are worried a little bit."
Police patrols arrived to warn revellers from rushing into floodwaters on Lake Pontchartrain as Isaac whipped up one of the city's watery boundaries.
New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu said: "Do not let this storm lull you into complacency - that would be a terrible mistake.
"We have dodged a bullet in the sense that this is not a category three storm but a category one at this strength from 85 to 100 mile per hour winds with a 125 miles per hour of gust is plenty big enough to put a big hurt on you."