As Obama Begins Another Campaign Trip, He Tells Gulf Coast to Take Isaac 'Seriously'

By Susan Jones | August 28, 2012 | 10:43 AM EDT

President Barack Obama steps off Marine One helicopter upon arrival on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Aug., 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

( - Before heading off to woo young voters on college campuses in Iowa and Colorado Tuesday, President Obama told the American people the nation is "dealing with a big storm, and there could be significant flooding."

The president noted that he's already approved a disaster declaration for the State of Louisiana -- and he said his Federal Emergency Management Agency has "been on the ground for over a week, working with state and local officials in areas that could be affected."

The storm named Isaac is expected to make landfall around New Orleans later Tuesday as a hurricane.

"As we prepare for it 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," Obama said.

"Now is not the time to tempt fate, now is not the time to dismiss official warnings. You need to take this seriously."

Obama said as president, he will "continue to make sure that the federal government is doing everything possible to prepare for and recover from this dangerous storm."

He said he will be getting continuous updates on Isaac throughout the day.

As "The Hill" newspaper reported on Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) sent a letter to President Obama on Monday, saying the president's "limited" emergency declaration does not go far enough, because it "does not provide for reimbursement of expenses that the state is taking to prepare for the storm."

“The State’s expenditures for emergency protective measures are already approximately $8,000,000 and exceed the State of Louisiana’s threshold when making a request for a major disaster declaration,” Jindal wrote.