Home / National News / Tropical Storm Isaac Continues to Dump Rain on Louisiana


(NEW YORK) — As slow-moving tropical storm Isaac continues to move away from New Orleans, some surrounding areas of Louisiana will see almost two feet of rain by the end of the week causing more dangerous floods.

A tornado spun out by Isaac touched down in Gulfport, Miss.  Carlos Redmond, a spokesman for Harrison County Emergency Management, said they’re still assessing the damage.

“We’re looking for daylight.  That’s what we’re looking for.  We’ll be able to tell a lot more at that time,” Redmond told ABC News on Thursday.

There have been a total of five tornadoes reported from Mississippi to Alabama.  The U.S. National Hurricane Center said tornadoes are possible along the central Gulf Coast region and parts of the lower Mississippi Valley through Thursday.

The rising waters from rain and flooding have already left locals scrambling up to attics and onto roofs.  The main parishes that are an area of concern are those that sit around Lake Pontchartrain.  With another four to seven inches of rain expected, many officials are worried about the rising waters.

Officials in LaPlace, La. — about 25 miles northwest of New Orleans — in St. John the Baptist Parish said the situation is dire.  

Parish President Layton Ricks told ABC News late Wednesday night, “I’m afraid the tide is really going to catch some of us off guard tonight.”

More than 200 people have been rescued from flooded homes in LaPlace and they believe hundreds more are stranded in the midst of the worst flooding the city has seen in 40 years.  The Louisiana National Guard said they will be out in force Thursday across the St. John the Baptist Parish, assisting in rescue efforts.

As of 2 a.m. ET Thursday, Isaac was 10 miles, south-southwest of Baton Rouge, La., moving northwest at 5 mph.  Tropical storms winds extend outward up to 175 miles.  Isaac’s maximum sustained winds are at 50 mph, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

A tropical storm warning was still in effect from Cameron, La., to the Mississippi-Alabama state border, according to the Hurricane Center.

New Orleans International Airport officials reported 10 inches of rain as of 3 a.m. Thursday with more expected to fall.  An unofficial rainfall total of 22.5 inches was reported in Arabi, La., near the city’s 9th Ward on Wednesday.  An official report from Audubon Park in New Orleans listed 17 inches of rainfall.

Livingston Parish officials told ABC News that they felt the worst of Isaac at 10 p.m. Wednesday, and expect flooding in the low-lying parts of the parish.  Rescue efforts were underway and officials said this will be the first overnight of many water rescues in the area.

Rescue operations are also underway in Plaquemines Parish.  More than 100 people in the parish have been rescued so far.  A levee in Plaquemines Parish will be intentionally breached at some point Thursday to relieve pressure on it.  That area has been under mandatory evacuation.

More than 725,000 homes and businesses throughout Louisiana are without power as of 2 a.m. Thursday.

President Obama declared federal emergencies in Louisiana and Mississippi late Wednesday, according to a statement from the White House.  The disaster declarations free up federal aid for affected areas.

Of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, 58 are under states of emergency Thursday morning.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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