Tropical storm Isaac was upgraded to Hurricane Isaac just in time to hit the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi. The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that although water rose over a rural levee and flooded some homes, the levees themselves are holding. This is in contrast, of course, to 2005, when Hurricane Katrina broke New Orleans levees and led to disaster for that city. The hurricane is expected to weaken back into a tropical storm sometime today.
The Army Corps of Engineers no doubt learned lessons from the levee failures during Katrina. An corps spokesperson told the AP that the levee system is performing as expected and that they don’t expect the hurricane to change that. The corps, though, is on “high alert” today.
In Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana a storm surge pushed water up and over a large stretch of levee, flooding homes. The area is rural, and there have been no reports of injury or death due to the flooding. Still, the AP reports that Plaquemines officials believe there could be people trapped due to the flood, and rescue workers are waiting for the storm to die down before looking for people who may have ignored the evacuation orders issued earlier this week.
Though flooding and power outages will continue to be an issue in New Orleans and along the coast for a few days, it appears as if Hurricane Isaac has not left a wake of destruction as large as Hurricane Katrina. Evacuation procedures and the Army Corps of Engineers’ methods also appear to have been effectively updated since 2005