(NEW ORLEANS) — The center of Hurricane Isaac made a second landfall over Port Fourchon, La., early Wednesday, overtopping a levee southeast of New Orleans and leaving thousands in the dark.
Emergency management officials in Plaquemines Parish reported “overtopping of a levee from Braithwaite to White Ditch,” according to the National Weather Service. “This will result in significant deep flooding in this area.”
As of 6 a.m. Wednesday, Isaac is still packing winds of 80 mph and the eye of the storm is about 50 miles south-southwest of New Orleans. The storm is moving at just 6 mph and has already dropped more than six inches of rain on New Orleans on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
The hurricane had moved back into the Gulf of Mexico after making its initial landfall Tuesday evening. Isaac’s center remained over water where it was almost stationary before making landfall again Wednesday morning.
Entergy New Orleans listed more than 400,000 homes and businesses without power as of 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to their website. The Red Cross, meanwhile, reported 18,000 people in 70 shelters across five states Wednesday morning.
Hurricane Isaac is expected to gradually weaken and move inland, dumping seven to 14 inches of rain across Louisiana, with some places receiving up to 20 inches, according to forecasters.
The greatest concern is an expected storm surge of between six and 12 feet off the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, four to eight feet along the Alabama coast and three to six feet on the Florida Panhandle, according to the Hurricane Center located in Miami.
A storm surge of 11 feet was reported at Shell Beach, La., late Tuesday, while a surge of 6.7 feet was reported in Waveland, Miss., according to the Hurricane Center.
Isolated tornadoes are possible along the central Gulf Coast region and part of the lower Mississippi River Valley through Wednesday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Thursday night into Saturday, Isaac will move into the Mississippi Valley and eventually into Illinois and Indiana, bringing possibly six inches of rain to the drought stricken Midwest.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Brian Vitigliano, Holly Yan and Joshua Berlinger, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN