The Louisiana National Guard says they’ve wrapped up rescue operations in Isaac’s hard hit Plaquemines Parish, having rescued 60 to 70 people of reportedly thousands needing rescued earlier Wednesday, and officials are now ready to deliberately breach the vulnerable levee. At least 700,000 people are without power.
“National Guard spokesman Capt. Lance Cagnolatti says guardsmen are confident they’ve swept the thinly populated area and no one is still there,” reports WBRZ in Baton Rouge Wednesday evening.
“Out of 60 to 70 people whom Guardsmen rescued, none had serious injuries, though an elderly woman who required dialysis was taken to a hospital,” WBRZ reports.
At least one tornado destroyed a Louisiana home, sending a door and glass flying by a woman in her home doing paper work and watching TV.
(Watch “Hurricane Isaac makes landfall in Louisiana, over 200000 homes without power,” on the YouTube video embedded on this page at the left.)
ABC News earlier reported that “thousands of people were stranded” in homes or attics and needed to be rescued:
“Thousands who live in the area were stuck in their homes or attics, and rescuers were out in boats helping those who needed it most,” ABC News reported Wednesday.
Approximately 8,200 national guardsmen were available to help with search and rescue efforts, according to Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Cagnolatti says the search turned up no bodies in the floodwater.
During Hurricane Katrina, when thousands of people tried to survive high waters in attics and on rooftops, there were reports of alligators taking some bodies.
Officials plan to intentionally breach a vulnerable levee in the area to alleviate pressure on it.
ABC reports more than 700,000 people have been left without power in four states as Isaac, now downgraded to a tropical storm, continues lashing the Gulf Coast with rain and maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
According to Entergy energy company, approximately 520,000 people have lost power in Louisiana and need to prepare for “extended power outages.”
Entergy explains “continued high winds, floodwaters and other hazards are preventing restoration workers from restoring electrical service to our customers. We are using the time to sharpen our plans and process donor crews so that we can start restoring your service.
“Please remain safe and stay away from downed power lines and flooded areas. Do not walk in standing water and do not venture into areas of debris, since energized and dangerous power lines may not be visible,” the company advises.
Despite Isaac’s downgrade to a Tropical Storm again, forecasters said Isaac wasn’t running out of destructive steam just yet.
Six to 12-foot storm surges are still expected in southeastern Louisiana, with 7 to 20 inches of rainfall.
“The models show [Isaac’s] forward speed slowing down, and that’s not good,” said Rick Knabb, the Director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami Rick.
“When a large system moves slowly, that means a lot of rainfall.”