GULF SHORES, AL (WAFF) - People have begun following the governor's order to evacuate the Alabama coast as Isaac churns through the Gulf of Mexico.
Cars and trucks filled with people and clothes started heading north when Gov. Robert Bentley's mandatory evacuation order took effect at 8 a.m. Monday. Some businesses normally open on Mondays along the Alabama coast are closed. Many have plywood covering their windows.
Gulf Shores resident Billy Cannon is among the evacuees. He's leaving the beach with his wife, ex-wife, daughter, son and four Chihuahuas. They plan to stay about 45 minutes away in Daphne.
Cannon said he thinks the governor's early evacuation order was an overreaction but he understands why it was issued.
Schools are closed in Mobile and Baldwin counties.
The National Hurricane Center predicts Isaac will grow to a Category 1 hurricane over the warm water of the Gulf and possibly hit late Tuesday somewhere along a roughly 300-mile stretch from the bayous southwest of New Orleans to the Florida Panhandle.
That would be one day shy of 7 years after Katrina struck in 2005, although Katrina was a much stronger Category 5 storm.