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Via: CNN.Com

Thousands in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were being told early Monday to leave their Gulf Coast homes ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Isaac as forecasters warned it was gaining strength as it followed the same path Hurricane Katrina took seven years earlier.

The governors of the three states each declared an emergency, with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley ordering mandatory evacuations to begin at 8 a.m. for residents who live along the coast and for those in some low-lying areas inland.