Although Hurricane Isaac’s path has shifted a small degree, officials state Monday morning that all advisories released by the Assumption Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Service remain, to expect the eye wall of Isaac to pass “right over” the parish, home of Louisiana’s giant sinkhole. Hard rains are causing concerning flooding of low-lying areas and power outages.
“Please note that as predicted, this update still shows 75 mph winds in Assumption parish at 1:00 p.m. today,” officials reported at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday.
“The track has shifted a bit; however, all advisories released by the Assumption Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness remain.”
Tuesday evening, Assumption Parish officials state that the latest update put the track of Hurricane Isaac’s eye wall “right over Assumption Parish.”
A hurricane’s eye wall is located just outside of the eye. The eye wall is where the most damaging winds and intense rainfall is found.
The eye is typically the most calm location. It passes a vulnerable area in the hurricane path before the worst damage hits, thus the cliche, “The calm before the storm.”
“By 6:00 a.m., we should be experiencing tropical storm force winds,” officials advised.
“At noon, the forecast shows we will experience the strongest winds as the forecast predicts the eye wall to be right over us at that time,” the parish alert stated.
Up to 20 inches of rain could pound the already vulnerable giant sinkhole in Louisiana.
Rains were anticipated to make “flooding of low lying areas a concern,” WAFB reports Wednesday.
Isaac’s core is expected to pass over the sinkhole area west of New Orleans with winds close to 80 mph.
Winds could gust up to 100 mph at times.
“The hurricane is expected to gradually weaken, but only after dumping 7 to 14 inches of rain across the state, with some places receiving up to 20 inches,” reports Associated Press Wednesday morning.
Jeff Morrow with the WAFB Storm Team says that high winds will also cause widespread power outages, and “if that happens find the battery operated radio and tune to Tiger Country 100.7 FM as we will be simulcasting our advisories there.”
Katrina haunts thousands of residents
In New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said evacuations would not be ordered and told residents to prepare carefully and ride it out. Nevertheless, Monday and Tuesday, traffic was bumper to bumper heading out of New Orleans.
In those vehicles were people too hurt and fearful to risk unpredictability of high waters and no power at home, with only hours away from the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
By midafternoon Tuesday, 400 residents of Plaquemines Parish, where Isaac made landfall southeast of New Orleans, were calling a hurricane shelter in Belle Chasse home.
Arriving on the eve of Hurricane Katrina’s seventh anniversary, Isaac is the first hurricane to hit Louisiana since Ike in 2008.
“Everything reminds you of Katrina. When the wind howls, I think of Katrina. I don’t think of Isaac,” explained CNN iReporter Eileen Romero, a student in New Orleans who survived Katrina in 2005 but lost everything during it.
Romero still lives in New Orleans, in a different neighborhood and in a house built in 1908.
After going out Tuesday to take photographs, she said, “I am not seeing people real concerned to be honest. I think there is a false sense of security.
“Everybody talks about how we party all the time. When hurricanes are coming, people have hurricane parties.”
Many residents of public housing apartments never returned after 2005.
“Where are the people who lived here prior to Katrina?” she asked. “I don’t think they have a place to come back to.”
Assumption Parish officials ordered a mandatory evacuation. Monday morning, officials there ask that people who remained in the area to “please abide by the curfew and remain sheltered in place.”
Sources: CNN, Assumption Parish Police Jury, Associated Press, ABC News