Isaac is proving to be more a significant storm than originally expected as the region observes the 7-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Hundreds of thousands are reported without power, widespread flooding and wind damage has all been reported across southeastern Louisiana and along the Mississippi coast due to the slow-moving hurricane.
As of early Wednesday, Isaac was drifting off to the northwest at only 6 mph with top sustained winds of 80 mph, less than 40 miles southwest of New Orleans.
This has resulted in an unrelenting lashing of tropical storm to hurricane-force winds, excessive rain and storm surge.
Power companies were reporting more than 500,000 without power across the southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.
Mayor Landrieu says 70% of New Orleans was without power as of early Wednesday.
The National Weather Service has reported severe wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph since late Tuesday across the area with numerous trees and power lines down. Some isolated locations have reported wind gusts over 100 mph.
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said part of the roof of his home on the parish’s west bank had blown off. He described wind-driven rain entering his home as “like standing in a light socket with a fire hose turned on.”
Officials said an 18-mile stretch of levees on the east side of Plaquemines Parish was overtopped by storm surge flooding.
Nungesser told WDSU that the problem was limited to overtopping, and not a breach. He described the situation as “serious.”
Five to seven feet of water was reported in homes in the parish and at least 175 people had to be rescued from attics and roofs of homes, according to WVUE.
Meanwhile, on the Mississippi coast, dozens of roads were closed or impassable due to storm surge flooding and heavy rainfall. Trees and power lines were also reported down across roads.
Highway 90 from Gulfport to Biloxi was reported to be experiencing significant flooding, with up to two feet of water reaching the doors of the Hard Rock Casino early Wednesday.
A significant storm surge of 11 feet was reported at Shell Beach, La, late Tuesday while a surge of 6.9 feet was reported in Waveland, Miss., the NHC reported.
Fire officials reported they were unable to get to a home that burned to the ground amid storm surge flooding in the Bay St. Louis area Tuesday evening.
Isaac came ashore Tuesday night near the mouth of the Mississippi River, then went nearly stationary back out over the coastal waters for several hours before making a second landfall in Grand Isle.
Isaac is forecast to track slowly to the northwest to north northwest over the next 24 to 36 hours across Louisiana, while continuing to spiral heavy rain across southern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana.
Some areas could receive up to 20 inches of rainfall by the time the storm moves away from the region on Friday.
Today marks the exactly 7 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi and Louisiana coast, pushing a record surge of water on shore and busting levees in the New Orleans area. An estimated 80 percent of the city was reported under water at one time.
More than 1,800 including more than 200 on the Mississippi coast. Katrina caused $75 billion in estimated physical damages, but it is estimated that the total economic impact in Louisiana and Mississippi may exceed $110 billion, earning the title of costliest hurricane ever in US history.
Everyone is strongly urged to remain updated on the latest weather information concerning the progress of Isaac. You can also follow along on twitter for the latest weather updates and news on the storm.