Hurricane Isaac has now made landfall twice in Louisiana, and the Category 1 storm has unfortunately slowed down as it churns dumping rain and pushing storm surge into the Gulf Coast. At this point, there is no sign that Isaac has created the kind of breach that caused the devastating flooding in New Orleans, but as seen in the updates below, one levee has been topped in a parish located southeast of New Orleans. The latest updates on Isaac appear below.
– Isaac is still a Category 1 storm with gusts of more than 80 miles per hour. The storm is moving slowly at a rate of 6 miles per hour, and has been able to maintain much of its strength as it moves over the waters of coastal Louisiana.
– Because the storm is moving slowly, it may dump up to 20 inches of rain on the region. The National Hurricane Center says that storm surges could reach 12 feet in some parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.
– Right now the $14.5 billion in flood control improvements installed in New Orleans appear to be working. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu stated that the pumps are currently keeping up with the rainfall, but that he is worried if the storm system hovers over New Orleans for an extended period of time. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said that he does not expect the New Orleans levees to be breached or topped given the investments that have been made. The flood system was built to sustain a tropical storm system much stronger than Isaac’s Category 1 status.
– New Orleans is also taking no chances with post-storm security this time around. Over 1,000 National Guard troops and 2,900 law enforcements officers are in New Orleans to help with rescue efforts and ensure public safety after the storm passes.
– One levee in Plaquemines Parish, located southeast of New Orleans, has been topped. If the water continues to go over the top of the levee it could further weaken the barrier leading to a breach. The Plaquemines Parish levee is separate from the federally-funded system which protects New Orleans. Plaquemines Parish is sparsely populated, but emergency officials are trying to get to the few residents who stayed despite the earlier evacuation order.
– Isaac has already led to a 5-cent increase in gas prices nationally, with one day surges of 14 cents in some areas. According to CNN, experts expect the price spike to short lived since the storm was not strong enough to cause lasting damage to refineries.
– Along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, many parts of Highway 90 are currently flooded. Water stood 4 feet deep in the most vulnerable areas of Hancock County, and a tornado warning were also posted because of thunderstorms spun off by Isaac.
– White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that President Obama is receiving continual briefings on the storm, and that FEMA has been instructed to do all it can to support the states affected.