The National Guard and other emergency services have moved Wednesday to rescue approximately 3000 more people hanging on to survive Isaac’s flooding in LaPlace swampland between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. High-water vehicles, humvee, boat teams and over 80 buses have headed to help evacuate stranded people Wednesday night.
“Emergency resources were moved to St. John the Baptist Parish to rescue 3,000 people trapped there because of flooding in the wake of tropical storm Isaac, which was a hurricane when it passed through” WBRZ in Baton Rouge reported as Isaac nears Louisiana’s capital city.
How could so many people be caught unaware and now struggle to survive?
The floodwaters “were shockingly fast-rising, from what I understand from talking to people. It caught everybody by surprise,” said Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne on Wednesday.
Isaac’s heavy rainfall pushed water from Lakes Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas northward and into parts of LaPlace, opposite direction of where the lakes would ordinarily flow.
Dardenne said officials speculated that fortifying levees in other parishes along Lake Pontchartrain after Hurricane Katrina forced storm surge into new areas that had escaped flooding in past storms.
“The water’s got to go somewhere, and this is where it went,” he said.
Evacuees trying to escape through New Orleans and Baton Rouge were stopped Wednesday as Interstate 10 East, that goes from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, is closed at LaPlace due to high water.
Louisiana state sent 89 buses to the area to help evacuate people, including taking some to an assisted living facility in the parish.
Other evacuees will be taken to Louisiana shelters in Alexandria and Shreveport.
The National Guard has seven high-water vehicles already on site with 25 high-water vehicles, Humvees and ten boat teams on their way. The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has 30 boats on site and 20 additional boats en route.
The parish had to close part of their water system, according to the governor’s office. The National Guard is deploying around 35,000 bottles of water and two 5,000 gallon water tankers.
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the Department of Transportation and Development are sending two-hundred 2,000 pound super sack sandbags to develop a protection system for the water system.
“This is no time to play hero,” Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden said in a briefing, urging residents to stay indoors. “Please take this storm very seriously.”
Source: WBRZ, The Washington Post, Associated Press, Shreveport Times